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Soft Wax Scale

Scientific Name
Ceroplastes destructor
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 (1)
Diagnostic Notes
Description from Henderson & Hodgson (2000)

Unmounted material: test of thick, white, soft wax, ‘wet’ to touch, strongly convex and irregular in shape. Length about 3.0–5.5 mm, breadth 1.5–3.0 mm. Mounted material: broadly oval with a caudal process about 1/3rd body length, very broad at base. Length up to 6 mm.

Dorsum: with 7 clear areas devoid of pores and setae in a submedian band around body; mid-dorsal area with few pores and setae. Dorsal setae short and cylindrical to slightly clavate. Ceroplastes-type pores fairly evenly distributed, oval and triangular trilocular pores most common but with a few bilocular pores. Margin: marginal setae possibly restricted to a few short, flagellate setae on either side of stigmatic clefts. Stigmatic clefts broad and shallow, each with about 10 short, conical spines along margin and further spines extending onto dorsum as a conspicuous round to oval group of short, broadly conical spines, each group with 1– 2 much larger spines furthest from margin; total number of stigmatic spines per cleft 37–77.

Venter: pregenital disc-pores with mainly 10–12 loculi: restricted to immediately around the genital area. Ventral tubular ducts restricted to the mediolateral folds laterad to vulva region. Antennae 6-segmented and quite long. Legs well developed but comparatively rather small for body size; lacking a tibio-tarsal articulatory sclerosis; claw digitules dissimilar; claw without a denticle.


Smith et al. (1997) reported two annual generations in Queensland, Australia. Cilliers (1967) studied the biology and natural enemies in South Africa. Two generations were found to occur annually on citrus in Queensland, Australia (Smith, 1970; Smith & Ironside, 1974). De Lotto (1971c) noted that the development of the caudal process is gradual and the organ attains its full size some time after the last moult has taken place. Beattie et al. (1990) studied the effect of nutrients in citrus (New South Wales, Australia) Milne (1993) studied in Australia, and concluded that watering regime did not significantly affect the survival of immature stages, but it did affect rate of development. Rate of development was also influenced by host plant species. Prolonged exposure to temperatures above 35°C apparently caused high mortality of immature stages, on leaves, regardless of water regime. A major citrus pest in Queensland, Australia (Sabine, 1969; Smith & Ironside, 1974). Biology and pest status on coffee presented by Le Pelley (1968). Snowball (1969) surveyed the natural enemies in South Africa.


See colour photograph in Hodgson & Henderson (2000).

General Remarks

Description and illustration of the adult female given by De Lotto (1965a), Williams & Watson (1990) and by Hodgson & Henderson (2000).


COLEOPTERA Coccinellidae: Halmus chalybeus.

HYMENOPTERA Aphelinidae: Euxanthellus adustus Annecke & Prinsloo, Encyrtidae: Microterys umbrinus Compere.


Fetykó & Kozár 2012: 293 (female); Hodgson & Peronti 2012: 49; Hodgson et al. 2009: 102-104 (female); Hodgson & Henderson 2000: 185 (female); Williams & Watson 1990: 65 (female).
More Information
Specimen Contact
New Zealand Arthropod Collection
Crosby, T.K. & Rhode, B.E.
24/06/2013 09:26 AEST
Last Updated
20/03/2014 19:44 AEST
Crosby, T.K. & Rhode, B.E. (2013) Soft Wax Scale (Ceroplastes destructor ) Updated on 3/20/2014 7:44:30 PM Available online: PaDIL -
Image Use
Free for use under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)