Common name

Obscure mealybug

Field characters

Body oval; slightly rounded in lateral view; pink or light purple; mealy wax covering usually thin enough so that body color shows through; without longitudinal line on dorsum; ovisac encloses all but head of female; with 17 lateral wax filaments, becoming progressively longer posteriorly, anterior pair about 1/8 width of body, straight, unusually thin, posterior pair longest, varying from 1/4 to 1/2 length of body. Occurring on most parts of host including main roots, fruit, leaves, stems, and under bark. Oviparous, eggs yellow. Surface of lateral filaments smooth.

Validation characters

Ventral oral-collar tubular ducts in clusters between antennae and laterad of front coxae, absent or with fewer than 3 ducts laterad of middle coxae; with few dorsal oral-rim tubular ducts on abdomen (with an average of 13 and a range of 10 to 18); without oral-rim tubular duct on dorsum between cerarius 15 and 16; with dorsal oral-rim tubular duct near frontal cerarius; with an average of 2 and range of 1 to 3 discoidal pores associated with eye, not set in a sclerotized rim; translucent pores on hind femur and tibia.


Pseudococcus viburni has been confused with P. maritimus by having discoidal pores near the eye, translucent pores on the hind femur and tibia, and ventral multilocular pores on most abdominal segments. Pseudococcus viburni differs by lacking an oral-rim tubular duct between cerarii 15 and 16; an average of 13 and range of 10 to 18 dorsal oral-rim tubular ducts on abdomen; less than 3 ventral oral collars laterad of middle coxa. Pseudococcus maritimus has a dorsal oral-rim tubular duct between cerarii 15 and 16; an average of 27 and range of 19 to 35 dorsal oral-rim tubular ducts on abdomen; an average of 14 and a range of 6 to 20 ventral oral collars laterad of middle coxa.

U.S. quarantine notes

This species was intercepted 407 times at U. S. ports-of-entry between 1995 and 2012, with specimens originating from Albania, Algeria, Australia, Azores, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hawaii, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Morocco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Spain, South Africa, St. Lucia, Thailand, The UnitedStates of AmericaVietnam, Yemen, and Zimbabwe. It is often taken on cactus but also occurs on a wide variety of other hosts plants and is considered to be polyphagous.We have not included a list of older quarantine records because the species is cosmopolitan. ScaleNet lists the species from more than 90 families of host plants and is recorded from all zoogeographic regions. It is intercepted at U. S. ports-of-entry from nearly any area of the world since it occurs outdoors in warm areas and in greenhouses and indoor landscapes in cooler areas. Several species of Pseudococcus other than P. aurantiacus Williams, P. baliteus Lit, P. calceolariae (Maskell), P. comstocki (Kuwana), P. cryptus Hempel , 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 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

GimpelMi1996, MillerGiWi1984, WilliaGr1992, Willia2004.

Scalenet catalog and citation list

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