Common name

Mexican 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: Body round; conspicuously rounded in lateral view; probably with dense covering 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. Often found of subterranean crown or large roots of host.

Validation characters

With 5 or more tubular ducts in cerarii; circulus elongate oval, not divided; dorsal conical setae smaller than cerarian setae, not gathered into clusters; 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 mexicanus is similar to P. yuccae (Coquillett) and P. lasiorum (Cockerell) by having ventral multilocular pores present on thorax near hind 2 pairs of legs and oral-collar tubular ducts in cerarii. Puto mexicanus differs by having 5 or more oral collars in most abdominal cerarii and by having the dorsal setae scattered over the surface rather than in clusters. Puto yuccae has 2 to 4 oral-collar tubular ducts in most abdominal cerarii and P. lasiorum has the dorsal setae clustered on the dorsum rather than dispersed in relatively uniform rows.

U.S. quarantine notes

This species was intercepted 93 times on a variety of hosts at U. S. ports-of-entry between 1995 and 2012, with specimens originating from El Salvador, Jamaica and Mexico. It has been intercepted at U. S. ports-of-entry primarily from Mexico. We also have examined quarantine specimens from Mexico (Chrysanthemum, Citrus, Coleus, Coriandrum, Crassula, Crataegus, Cydonia, Dasylirion, Eupatorium, Lippia, Mentha, Pelargonium, Persea, Plectranthus, Ruta, Salvia, and Yucca). ScaleNet lists the species from 11 families of host plants, and distribution records include the Nearctic (Mexico, The United States of America (Arizona Texas)) and Neotropical (El Salvador, Guatemala) regions. However, it has been intercepted at U. S. ports-of-entry primarily from Mexico. Three other species of Puto other than P. barberi (Cockerell) and P. mexicanus 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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