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Felted Grass Coccid

Scientific Name
Antonina graminis
Scientific Author
(Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae)
Pest Status
0 Unknown
0 Unknown
0 NZ - Unknown
0 NZ - Unknown

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Diagnostic Images

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Diagnostic Images (2)
Diagnostic Notes
Adult Female

Description from Williams & Watson (1988)

In life covered in a white felted sac except for exposed posterior end of body. Slide-mounted specimens broadly oval, up to 3.5 mm long, widest at about mesothorax in young adult females, but more mature females almost rotund; posterior end of body usually heavily sclerotised. Anal lobes broad but poorly developed, each lobe with an apical seta about 90 µm long: remainder of body membranous in young adult females, becoming lightly sclerotised towards maturity. Antennae each 50-65 µm long, 2 segmented, bluntly tapering. Legs absent. Conspicuous pit-like invagination present just behind each posterior spiracle, and a small pit posterior to this on each side of next abdominal segment; small pits also present between anterior and posterior spiracles on each side, and in front of each anterior spiracle lateral to clypeolabral shield: apparently similar pits also present on submedian areas of dorsum on posterior abdominal segments. Labium broad. about 100 µm long, shorter than clypeolabral shield. Spiracles sclerotised, often as large as labium. each with a crescentic band of trilocular pores present around margin of orifice. Vulva with minute ‘dots’ present. Anal ring apparently with pores present at base of anal tube, tube longer than diameter of ring; ring with 6 setae present, extending just beyond apex of abdomen. Eyes present, minute. Ostioles absent.

Dorsal surface with short robust setae, sometimes bluntly lanceolate, rarely more than 8 µm long, except on sclerotised area at posterior end of abdomen, where they are up to 50 µm long and pointed. Trilocular pores fairly evenly distributed, each with a thick rim. Discoidal pores minute but dome-shaped. scattered. Oral collar tubular ducts of 2 sizes present. A large type, with orifice wider than a trilocular pore and inner end rounded, present on sclerotised area of abdomen. A smaller type, with orifice narrower than a trilocular pore and with inner end dome-shaped, numerous and evenly distributed.

Ventral surface with short setae, longer at posterior end of abdomen. Multilocular disc pores present across abdominal segments, and in a zone on submedian areas as far forward as prothorax in front of anterior spiracles; occasional pores sometimes present on head. Circular or discoidal pores, each with a sclerotised rim and a granular or reticulated centre, present in a broad zone from each posterior spiracle to just anterior to sclerotised area of abdomen, not reaching margins: pores of different sizes, all usually smaller than multilocular pores. but in some specimens often as large. Trilocular pores with thick rims, evenly distributed. Tubular ducts of large type on posterior sclerotised area. Small type, same as on dorsum, evenly distributed and fairly numerous. Minute discoidal pores, dome-shaped as on dorsum, scattered.


The adult females are parthenogenetic and reproduce ovoviviparously. In Texas, USA the life cycle ranges from 60-70 days, and the mealybug develops five annual generations. Chada & Wood (1960) and Bartlett (1978e) discussed in great details the distribution, host plants, biology, economic importance and control of this pest. The invasive ant S. invicta tends the invasive mealybug Antonina graminis (Maskell) extensively and actively constructs shelters around these insects (Zhou, et al., 2012).


McKenzie (1967), Parida & Moharana (1982), Nur et al. (1987) and Moharana (1990) reported chromosome number 2n=16. Colour illustration given by McKenzie (1967). Colour photograph given by Kawai (1980).

Economic Importance and Control The Rhodes-grass scale has been recorded from a wide range grasses, but severe damage was reported mainly on Rhodes-grass, Chloris gayana. Occasionally it is a pest of sugarcane, Bermuda grass, Cynodon dactylon and St. Augustine grass, Stenotaphrum secundatum. The mealybug infests principally the stem bases and the rh
More Information
Specimen Contact
New Zealand Arthropod Collection
Crosby, T.K. & Rhode, B.E.
21/06/2013 09:19 AEST
Last Updated
07/05/2014 03:55 AEST
Crosby, T.K. & Rhode, B.E. (2013) Felted Grass Coccid (Antonina graminis ) Updated on 5/7/2014 3:55:23 AM Available online: PaDIL -
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