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Indian Wax Scale

Scientific Name
Ceroplastes ceriferus
Scientific Author
(Hemiptera: Coccidae)
Pest Status
0 Unknown
0 Unknown
0 NZ - Unknown
0 NZ - Unknown

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Diagnostic Images

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Diagnostic Images (3)
Diagnostic Notes
Description from Williams & Watson (1990)

Adult female, slide-mounted, broadly oval, caudal process poorly developed in young adult females, but when fully developed, projects from the posterior end as a cylindrical process about 1/3rd length of body. Important diagnostic characters are 6-segmented antennae, and legs without tibio-tarsal articulatory scleroses. Stigmatic clefts shallow, each with 28-88 bullet-shaped stigmatic setae extending along margins in 6 irregular rows. Marginal setae often each about 20 µm long, there being 2-4 present between each anterior and posterior group of stigmatic setae.

Dorsal surface with short cylindrical setae present, with blunt or truncate apices, mostly 6 µrn long. Pores mostly triangular and trilocular, with smaller numbers of oval trilocular pores, quadrilocular pores and bilocular pores present. Without medio-dorsal clear area, but with usually 3 cepahlic clear areas, sometimes merged into 1, and 8 lateral clear areas, all devoid of pores and setae. Filamentous ducts present around margins.

Ventral surface with multilocular disc pores present in vulvar region, on preceding abdominal segments and next to coxae. Quinquelocular pores in stigmatic furrows present in wide bands. Cruciform pores numerous. Tubular ducts present on head and in vulvar region.


Ohgushi & Nishino (1975) studied the life tables in Japan. A parthenogenetic species in USA, Virginia; develops one annual generation in USA, Maryland and Virginia; overwinters as an adult female (Kosztarab, 1996).


Colour photograph in Kawai (1980, Figs. 6.58, a,b), Hamon & Williams (1984) and in Mori et al. (2001, 2001a). Body covered by thick white (young female) to pinkish white (old female) wet wax, convex, circular or irregular in outline, with an anteriorly projecting horn visible only on older females, without nuclei. Wax bands near both spiracles, anterior bands directed dorsally. Dry wax with filaments as follows: cephalic filament trifurcate; anterolateral and mediolateral simple; posterolateral bifurcate; caudal simple.(Lee, et al., 2012).

Economic Importance & Control

A pest of economic importance to many ornamentals in U.S.A. (Gimpel et al., 1974; Kosztarab, 1996). C. ceriferus is a highly polyphagous pest, and many of its host plants are citivated in Europe for fruit production or ornamental purposes. Its recent introduction into Italy showed that the pest is able to survive in parts of Europe. Although more data is needed on the impact of this scale on fruit crops, it seems that it is more a threat for ornamental crops. Control of scales is usually difficult in practice, although biological control agents exist in other parts of the world, it is not known whether they could reduce populations sufficiently under European conditions.

General Remarks

Description and illustration of adult female by De Lotto (1971), Williams & Kosztarab (1972), Gimpel et al. (1974), Hamon & Williams (1984), Williams & Watson (1990), Tang (1991), Kosztarab (1996), Hodgson & Henderson (2000). Description and illustration of adult male by Gimpel et al. (1974).


DIPTERA Cecidomyiidae: Pectinodiplosis erratica (Felt).

HYMENOPTERA Encyrtidae: Anicetus rarisetus Xu & He, Anicetus zhejiangensis Xu & Li.


Fetykó & Kozár 2012: 293 (female); Lee et al. 2012: 159-160 (female); Lee et al. 2012: 160 (female); Kondo & Gullan 2010: 13-14 (female); Mori, Pellizzari & Tosi 2001: 42 (female); Hodgson & Henderson 2000: 185 (female); Kosztarab 1996: 325 (female); Kosztarab 1996: 325 (female); Tang 1991: 297 (female); Williams & Watson 1990: 65 (female); Hamon & Williams 1984: 18 (female); Kawai 1980: 166 (female); Gimpel et al. 1974: 19 (female); Gimpel et al. 1974: 71 (male); Williams & Kosztarab 1972: 36 (female); Borchsenius 1957: 451 (female); Green 1909a: 270-271 (female); Cockerell 1895: 8 (female).
More Information
Specimen Contact
New Zealand Arthropod Collection
Crosby, T.K. & Rhode, B.E.
24/06/2013 07:38 AEST
Last Updated
20/03/2014 19:43 AEST
Crosby, T.K. & Rhode, B.E. (2013) Indian Wax Scale (Ceroplastes ceriferus) Updated on 3/20/2014 7:43:50 PM Available online: PaDIL -
Image Use
Free for use under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)