Common name

Orchid soft scale

Field characters

Adult female elongate oval, up to 7 mm long; dorsum of young female yellow with dark brown mottling, uniformly brown and sclerotized in older females; not forming an ovisac. Occurring on the stems and leaves of the orchid host.

Validation characters

Legs reduced, tibia and tarsus often fused; dorsal setae curved; antennae reduced, 5- 6-segmented; tubular ducts absent; multilocular pores with 5-8 loculi, restricted to vulvar area; preopercular pores in medial area from metathorax to anal area; claw digitules clubbed, unequal in size; 6-17 submarginal tubercles.


Coccus pseudohesperidum is unique among Coccus species and most likely should be placed in Mesolecanium (Gill & Nakahara 1977). It is characterized by the sclerotized dorsum, reduced legs and antennae, and lack of tubular ducts.

U.S. quarantine notes

This species was intercepted at U. S. ports-of-entry 7 times between 1995 and 2012, with specimens originating from Belize and Hawaii. We also have examined specimens taken in quarantine from Brazil (Cattleya, Laelia, Octomeria); France (Aerides); Guatemala (Cattlelya); Java (Indonesia)(Vanda); Panama (Oncidium); United Kingdom and Northern Ireland (Cattleya, Cymbidium, Dendrobium). ScaleNet lists hosts in Iridaceae (Iris) and Orchidaceae (orchids), but it is most commonly intercepted on rambutan (Nephelium, Sapindaceae-Soapberry family). ScaleNet distribution records for C. pseudohesperidum include the Hawaiian Islands (Hawaii), as well as Canada (Ontario) and several states in The United States of America in the Nearctic, Brazil and Guatemala in the Neotropics, and Latvia and The United Kingdom (England) in the Palaearctic. Two species of Coccus other than C. capparidis Green, C. hesperidum Linnaeus, C. longulus (Douglas), C. moestus De Lotto , C. pseudohesperidum and C. viridis (Green) have been taken at U. S. ports-of-entry, C. alpinus De Lotto (Brazil, on Coffea) and C. celatus (The Philippines, on Dimocarpus, Lansium and Synsepalum).

Important references

Zimmer1948; Borchs1957; GillNaWi1977; HamonWi1984; Gill1988; Koszta1996.

Scalenet catalog and citation list

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