Common name

Pacific mealybug

Field characters

We assume that this species is identical in appearance to P. citri as follows: 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 (more obvious than on P. ficus); ovisac ventral only, may be 2 times longer than body when fully formed; with 17 or 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

Less than 5 ventral oral-collar tubular ducts between antennae; less than 6 ventral oral-collar tubular ducts laterad of middle coxae (count both sides); usually with 1 or more dorsolateral tubular ducts that often appear as oral rims; translucent pores on hind coxa and tibia, absent for femur; anal bar present; 18 pairs of cerarii; no auxiliary setae.


Planococcus minor is very similar to P. citri and in too many cases is inseparable from it. Planococcus minor usually differs by having few or no ventral oral-collar tubular ducts between the antennae and on the head and by having few or no ventral oral collars latered of the middle coxa. Planococcus citri has 5 or more ventral oral collars between the antennae and 6 or more ventral oral collars laterad of the middle coxa. The following table was developed by Cox (1989) to separate the species. A calculation is made based on the value for each of 6 characters and the score determines the identity of the specimen. Scores of 0-35 = P. minor; 36-120 = P. citri. Values pertain to both sides of the body. For example, if a specimen has 4 ventral oral-collar tubular ducts on the head, it receives a score of 10; 3 ventral oral collars laterad of middle coxae = score of 10; no ventral oral collars between cerarii 16 and 17 = 0; a total of 5 multiloculars behind both front coxae = 5; length of hind coxa + tarsus/ length of hind trochanter + femur of 1.06 = 0; double row of ventral multilocular pores on segment VI = 0. The total score for the specimen is 25 and it is determined to be P. minor, i.e., less than 35.

Character Value Score
Number of ventral oral-collar tubular ducts on head 0-3 4-13 14-35 0 10 40
Number of ventral oral-collar tubular ducts laterad of middle coxae 0-2 3-7 8-30 0 10 40
At least 1 ventral oral-collar tubular duct between 16th and 17th cerarius (counting from anal lobe) No Yes 0 10
Number multilocular pores behind front coxae 0-6 7-12 5 0
Ratio length hind = tibia + tarsus to length of trochanter + femur 1.00-1.07 1.08-1.17 1.18-1.30 0 5 10
Width of row of ventral multilocular disk pores on posterior margin segment of VI Single Intermediate Double 15 5 0

U.S. quarantine notes

This species was intercepted 5403 times at U. S. ports-of-entry between 1995 and 2012, with specimens originating from American Samoa, Anguila, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, The British Virgin Islands, Cambodia, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Fiji, France, Ghana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guam, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Laos, Malaysia, Martinique, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nepal, The Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, The Philippines, Puerto Rico, Samoa, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Tahiti, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Tortola, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, The U.S. Virgin Islands, Venezuela, Vietnam, and Yemen. The species is polyphagous and relatively cosmopolitan; therefore, we have not recorded older quarantine records. ScaleNet lists the species from more than 65 families of host plants and distribution records include countries in all zoogeographical regions. Planococcus minor is intercepted at U. S. ports-of-entry from many parts of the world, particularly the Pacific, Caribbean, and southern Asia.Several species of Planococcus other than P. citri (Risso), P. ficus (Signoret), P. halli Ezzat & McConnell, P. kraunhiae (Kuwana), P. lilacinus (Cockerell), P. litchi Cox and P. minor 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; WilliaWa1988a; WilliaGr1992; Willia2004.

Scalenet catalog and citation list

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