Common name

Cryptic or citriculus mealybug

Field characters

Body oval; slightly rounded in lateral view; pale yellow or greenish yellow; body contents crushed are greenish yellow; mealy wax covering body, usually thick enough to hide body color except on intersegmental lines; without longitudinal lines on dorsum; ovisac ventral only; with 17 lateral wax filaments, becoming progressively longer posteriorly, anterior pair about 1/4 width of body, straight or slightly curved distally, thick, posterior pair longest, varying from 3/4 to 1 time length of body. Primarily occurring on foliage and stems of host. Oviparous, eggs pale yellow. Surface of lateral filaments smooth.

Validation characters

Dorsal oral rims greatly reduced in number, varying from none to as many as 8; dorsal setae long, almost as long as ventral setae; translucent pores on hind coxa, femur, and tibia; dorsal oral-collar tubular ducts nearly always present near cerarii, sometimes scattered elsewhere; ventral oral-collar tubular ducts few, forming narrow band on thorax and head; without discoidal near eye.


Pseudococcus cryptus is an unusual member of the genus Pseudococcus by possessing such a small number of dorsal oral-rim tubular ducts; in some cases dorsal oral rims are entirely absent or there may be up to 8 on the entire surface. This species is very similar to P. aurantiacus, but differs by having more than 1 vental oral rim near each spiracle, a few ventral oral rims on the anterior abdominal segments, and a narrow band of oral collars on the margin of the thorax. P. aurantiacus has 1 ventral oral rim near each spiracle, no ventral oral rims on the anterior abdominal segments, and a broad band of oral collars on the margin of the thorax. It also is similar to Pseudococcus baliteus but differs by having less than 5 oral collars between the antennae and clusters of ventral oral rims near the anterior spiracles. P. baliteus has more than 5 oral collars between the antennae and single ventral oral rims near the anterior spiracles.

U.S. quarantine notes

This species was intercepted 559 times at U. S. ports-of-entry between 1995 and 2012, with specimens originating from American Samoa, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Hawaii, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, The Philippines, Providence Island, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, The United Arab Emirates, The U.S. Virgin Islands, and Vietnam. It is taken at U. S. ports-of-entry on many hosts, the most common is citrus. It is considered to be polyphagous. ScaleNet lists the species from more than 40 families of host plants and occurs in all zoogeographical regions except the Nearctic. Several species of Pseudococcus other than P. aurantiacus Williams, P. baliteus Lit, P. calceolariae (Maskell), P. comstocki (Kuwana), P. cryptus, P. dendrobiorum Williams, P. elisae Borchsenius, P. jackbeardsleyi Gimpel & Miller, P. landoi (Balachowsky), P. longispinus (Targioni Tozzetti), P. lycopodii Beardsley, P. maritimus (Ehrhorn), P. microcirculus McKenzie, P. nakaharai Gimpel & Miller , P. odermatti Miller & Williams, P. philippinicus Williams, P. pithecellobii Gimpel & Miller, P. soleneydos Miller & Gimpel and P. viburni (Signoret) have been taken at U. S. ports-of-entry including: P. agavis MacGregor (Mexico, on Agave); P. apodemus Williams (The Philippines, on Fortunella and Mangifera); P. apomicrocirculus Gimpel and Miller (Mexico, on orchids); P. apoplanus Williams (India, on orchids); P. chenopodii Williams (Australia, on Brunia); P. concavocerarii James (Somalia, on Euphorbia); P. donrileyi Gimpel and Miller (Mexico, on Citrus; Puerto Rico, on Melicoccus); P. eucalypticus Williams (Australia, on Eucalyptus and Chamelaucium); P. gilbertensis Beardsley (Guam, on Dracaena; The Philippines, on Citrus); P. importatus McKenzie (Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Jamaica, Madagascar, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, The Philippines, South Africa, Trinidad, and Venezuela, on orchids); P. neomaritimus Beardsley (Mexico, on Citrus, Psidium, and Punica); P. neomicrocirculus Gimpel and Miller (Costa Rica, Guatemala and Venezuela, on orchids); P. orchidicola Takahashi (Kwajalein, Marshall, Samoa, and Tonga, on Alocasia, Dendrobium and Pandanus); P. peregrinabundus Borchsenius (Ecuador, on Musa); P. saccharicola Takahashi (Vietnam, on Saccharum); P. sociabilis (Brazil, on Annona, Cattleya, Carica, Hedera, Hippeastrum, Dahlia, Oncidium, Solanum and Zygopetalum); and P. solomonensis Williams (Micronesia and Palau, on Musa and Piper).

Important references

WilliaGr1992; Willia2004.

Scalenet catalog and citation list

Click here for a Catalog.