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Proteus Scale

Scientific Name
Parlatoria proteus
Scientific Author
(Hemiptera: Diaspididae)
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 (1988)

Female scale almost transparent; general colour yellowish brown, exuviae terminal. Male scale elongate, white, exuviae yellowish brown.

Adult female, on slide, almost circular: membranous, pygidium lightly sclerotised. Pygidium with 3 pairs of well-developed lobes present, successively decreasing only slightly in size, each lobe with a single notch on either side. 4th and 5th pairs of lobes present, but smaller than other lobes and resembling plates. Plates distally fimbriate, slender between 3rd lobes; wider plates present forward from 3rd lobes to about abdominal segment 2. Dmsal ducts, not numerous, present around margins and submargins as far forward as segment 2. A group of small submedian ducts present at base of pygidium. Eye spot modified into pointed tubercle.

Ventral surface with perivulvar pores in 5 groups. Duct tubercles present on margins of thorax and abdominal segment 1. A small derm pocket present between each posterior spiracle and margin.


On orchids it apparently reproduces slowly in the greenhouse; each female produces up to 30 eggs (Zahradnik 1968). Both parthenogenetic (Nur 1971) and sexual races (Schmutterer 1952b) are reported. Scales may be found on the leaves or branches of the host. (Miller & Davidson, 2005).


Female scale elongate, more or less oval, transparent brownish yellow, whitish toward border. Exuviae rounded oval. Male scale is light brown with black exuviae (Comstock, 1883).


Parlatoria proteus appears to be closely related to P. pergandii, but may be separated from it by the presence of spur-like eyespot on the prosoma and the considerably lesser numbers of submarginal pygidial macroducts (McKenzie, 1945).

Economic Importance & Control

Miller & Davidson (1990) list this insect as a serious and widespread pest. Proteus scale is considered to be a serious pest of ornamentals in Florida (Dekle 1977). It is a minor pest of citrus in Florida, China, Southeast Asia, Egypt, Argentina, (Talhouk 1975), and Brazil (Bondar 1914), and occasionally is found on avocado (Ebeling 1959). It also has been reported as a greenhouse pest of orchids and palms (Weigel and Sasscer 1923); lilies and amaryllis (Baker 1993); and bananas in the Canary Islands and Madagascar (Chua and Wood 1990). Beardsley and González (1975) consider this to be one of 43 major armored scale pests, and Miller and Davidson (1990) treated it as a serious world pest (Miller & Davidson, 2005).


HYMENOPTERA Aphelinidae: Aphytis fuscipennis, Aspidiophagus lounsburyi, Bardylis australicus.

Pteromalidae: Selaginella sp.

General Remarks

Detailed descriptions and illustrations by Takagi (1969a) and Williams & Watson (1988). First-stage male described and illustrated by Howell & Tippins (1977).


Tanaka 2010: 180-183 (female); Suh & Ji 2009: 1041-1043 (female); Colón-Ferrer & Medina-Gaud 1998: 113; Gill 1997: 216 (female); Kosztarab 1996: 550 (female); Danzig 1993: 84 (female); Williams & Watson 1988: 202 (female); Chou 1985: 221 (female); Howard & Oliver 1985: 70 (female); Wang 1982c: 78 (female); Paik 1978: 369 (female); Danzig 1971d: 840 (female); Beardsley 1966: 550 (female); Ezzat 1958: 249 (female); McKenzie 1956: 34 (female); Balachowsky 1953g: 779 (female); McKenzie 1952: 15; Borchsenius 1950b: 170 (female); Zimmerman 1948: 394 (female); Hall 1946a: 527 (female); McKenzie 1945: 79 (female); Ferris 1942: SIV-446:59 (female); Morrison 1939a: 30 (female); Kuwana 1925: 5 (female); Britton 1923: 380; Hollinger 1923: 34 (female); Robinson 1917: 27 (female); Palmer 1905: 145 (female); Newstead 1901b: 140 (female).
More Information
Specimen Contact
New Zealand Arthropod Collection
Rhode, B.E. & Crosby, T.K.
04/07/2013 09:03 AEST
Last Updated
16/04/2014 22:11 AEST
Rhode, B.E. & Crosby, T.K. (2013) Proteus Scale (Parlatoria proteus) Updated on 4/16/2014 10:11:24 PM Available online: PaDIL -
Image Use
Free for use under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)