Common name

Vine mealybug

Field characters

Body oval; slightly rounded in lateral view; body yellow when newly molted, pink or orange-brown when fully mature; legs brown-red; mealy wax covering body, not thick enough to hide body color; with dorsomedial bare area on dorsum forming central longitudinal stripe (not as obvious as on P. citri); ovisac ventral only, may be 2 times longer than body when fully formed; with 18 lateral wax filaments, most relatively short, often slightly curved, posterior pair slightly longer, filaments anterior of posterior pair small, posterior pair about 1/8 length of body. Primarily occurring on foliage of host. Oviparous, eggs yellow. Surface of lateral filaments rough.

Validation characters

Usually with translucent pores on hind femur in addition to hind coxa and tibia; often with 5 or more multilocular pores behind each front coxa; less than 6 ventral oral-collar tubular ducts laterad of middle coxae (count both sides); fewer than 5 ventral oral-collar tubular ducts between antennae; usually with 1 or more dorsolateral tubular ducts that often appear as oral rims; no auxiliary setae; anal bar present; 18 pairs of cerarii.


Planococcus ficus is very similar to P. minor and P. halli, by having few ventral oral collars on the head and laterad of the middle coxae. Planococcus ficus differs by usually having pores on the hind femur. If the femur is without translucent pores, it can be distinguished from P. halli with great difficulty by usually having multilocular pores behind front coxa and from P. minor by having long and slender cerarian setae on anterior thorax and head. Planococcus halli usually lacks multilocular pores behind the front coxa and P. minor has conical cerarian setae on the anterior thorax and head. Frankly these species are difficult to distinguish, but P. ficus is frequently found on grape, P. halli is usually on sweet potatoes, and P. minor is on a diversity of hosts.

U.S. quarantine notes

This species was intercepted 123 times at U. S. ports-of-entry between 1995 and 2012, with specimens originating from Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Cambodia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, Georgia, Greece, Grenada, Haiti, India, Israel, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Mexico, Morocco, Oman, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, St. Lucia, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Turkey, The United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen and Yugoslavia. It is commonly taken on grape, but has been recorded from more than 15 host families. We also have examined quarantine specimens from Afghanistan (Ficus); Argentina (Vitis); Azores (Portugal)(Vitis); Chile (Vitis); Dominican Republic (Dahlia, Theobroma);Germany (Cephalopetandra); Ethiopia (Carica); Greece (Punica, Vitis); Haiti (Curcurbita); Iran (Punica); Israel (Punica); Italy (Ficus, Punica, Vitis); Jordan (Abelmoschus); Lebanon (Annona, Diospyros, Ficus, pomegranate, Vitis); The Neatherlands (grapes); Pakistan (Rosa); Palestine (pomegranate); Oman (Zingiber); Portugal (Annona, Ficus, Psidium, Vitis); South Africa (grapes); Saudi Arabia (Phoenix); Syria (pomegranate); The United Kingdom and Northern Ireland (Citrus, Punica); Yugoslavia (Punica). ScaleNet lists the species from more than 16 families of host plants and distribution records include all zoogeographical regions of the world except the Australasian region. Several species of Planococcus other than P. citri (Risso), P. ficus, P. halli Ezzat & McConnell, P. kraunhiae (Kuwana), P. lilacinus (Cockerell), P. litchi Cox and P. minor (Maskell) have been taken at U. S. ports-of-entry including: P. angkorensis (Takahashi) (China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, The Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, on many tropical plants); P. dendrobi Ezzat and McConnell (India, The Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, on Cypripedium, Dendrobium, Phalaenopsis, Saccolobium and Vanda); P. hosnyi Ezzat and McConnell (South Africa, on orchid); P. hospitus De Lotto (Uganda, on Cyrtorchis); P. japonicus Cox (Japan and The Philippines, on Carpinus, Fatsia, Lansium, Malus, Rhododendron and Vitis); P. kenyae (LePelley) (Nigeria, Sierra Leone, on Ficus and Cola); P. mali Ezzat and McConnell (New Zealand, on Malus and Olearia); P. orchidi Cox (Liberia, on orchids); and P. philippinensis Ezzat and McConnell (The Philippines, on Aerides, Cymbidium, Dendrobium, Eria, Phalaenopsis, Spathoglottis and Vanda).

Important references

Cox1989; WilliaGr1992; Willia2004.

Scalenet catalog and citation list

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