Common name

Barber giant mealybug

Field characters

We have been unable to locate a description of the field characters of this species. Based on morphology of slide mounted female, probably with: Body round; conspicuously rounded in lateral view; body with dense mass of mealy wax covering body and hiding body color, with dorsomedial crest of wax; legs large, black or dark brown; probably with conspicuous band of plate-like waxy filaments, variable in number because often fused, surrounding entire body; posterior filaments probably separate; all filaments about same length; without an ovisac; probably ovoviviparous; probably with conspicuous pair of dark areas on each side of dorsal midline of abdomen when wax is removed. On foliage and fruit of host.

Validation characters

Without tubular ducts in cerarii; circulus frequently constricted medially, but not divided completely; dorsal conical setae about same size as cerarian setae; cerarii all with considerable basal sclerotization; each cerarius containing 6 or more conical setae; with 17 or 18 pairs of cerarii on each side of body; antennae 9-segmented; multilocular disc pores scattered over ventral surface; basal and plantar denticles present on claw.


Puto barberi is similar to P. ambiguus (Fullaway) by having dorsal conical setae about same size as cerarian setae, multiloculars scattered over ventral surface, and 17 or 18 pairs of cerarii. Puto barberi differs by lacking oral-collar tubular ducts in anal-lobe cerarii and having dorsal conical setae scattered over surface rather than in clusters. Puto ambiguus usually has 1 or 2 oral-collar tubular ducts in anal-lobe cerarius and has dorsal conical setae in clusters on abdominal segments.

U.S. quarantine notes

This species was intercepted 143 times at U. S. ports-of-entry between 1995 and 2012, with specimens originating from Anguila, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Colombia, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, Mexico, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Tortola, Trinidad and Tobago, The U.S. Virgin Islands and Venezuela. We also have examined quarantine specimens from Bahamas (Bouganvillea, Chenopodium, Croton, and Malvaceae); Colombia (unknown host); Domincan Republic (Annona, Coccoloba); Puerto Rico (Melicoccus); St. Thomas (USVI) (Cestrum); Trinidad and Tobago (Anthurium). ScaleNet lists the species from more than 30 families of host plants and occurs in the Neotropical region only. Three other species of Puto other than P. barberi and P. mexicanus (Cockerell) have been taken at U. S. ports-of-entry including: Puto lasiorum (Cockerell) (Mexico, on cactus, Leucophylum, and Opuntia); P. ulter Ferris (usually from Guatemala, on orchids; also from Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, and Venezuela, on orchids); and P. yuccae (Coquillett) (Mexico, on Cephalocereus, Cereus, Ferocactus, Lycium, Opuntia and Suaeda).

Important references


Scalenet catalog and citation list

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