Field characters

Body rotund to eliptical; rounded in lateral view; body pink to pink-yellow; legs light yellow; dorsal ovisac present in all instars, covering entire dorsum, very filamentous; mealy wax lightly dusted over body, lateral filaments absent. Occurring on all above ground parts of plant, often in clumps at nodes, usually in protected areas. Oviparous, eggs pink, hatch soon after being laid.

Validation characters

With 3 circuli; without trilocular pores; some dorsal abdominal setae conical and similar in shape and size to cerarian setae; cerarii with more than 3 conical setae; multilocular pores and oral-collar tubular ducts abundant on dorsum.


Hypogeococcus pungens is similar to H. festerianus and H. spinosus by having dorsal conical setae, dorsal multilocular pores, and dorsal oral-collar tubular ducts, but differs by having 3 circuli and no conical setae on the head and anterior abdomen. Hypogeococcus festerianus has 1 circulus and conical setae on the head and thorax; H. spinosus has a single circulus but lacks conical setae on the head and thorax.

U.S. quarantine notes

This species was intercepted 8 times at U. S. ports-of-entry between 1995 and 2012, with specimens originating from Hawaii, Monaco, Puerto Rico, and The U. S. Virgin Islands. It has been intercepted on cactus (primarily on roots) from Germany, Peru and Puerto Rico. We also have examined specimens intercepted in quarantine from Brazil (Lobivia); Monaco (Cleistocactus); Peru (cactus); Puerto Rico (host unknown); St. Thomas (USVI) (host unknown). ScaleNet lists the species from 5 families of host plants, and distribution records include countries in the Nearctic, Neotropical and Palaearctic zoogeographic regions. Hypogeococcus pungens apparently is endemic to South America but has been collected in Europe and the Mediterranean. Several species of Hypogeococcus other than H. pungens have been taken at U. S. ports-of-entry including: H. boharti Miller (Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, and Peru, on orchids); H. gilli Miller (Costa Rica, on orchids); H. othnius Miller and McKenzie (Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Venezuela, on orchids and bromeliads); and H. spinosus Ferris (Argentina, Mexico, and Switzerland, on cactus).

Important references

Miller1983DR, WilliaGr1992.

Scalenet catalog and citation list

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