Common name

Red wax scale

Field characters

Body oval or pentagonal; convex in lateral view; body brown; with a thick wax covering; eggs laid in chamber under body of adult; ovisac absent. The following description is from Gimpel et al. (1974). Test: Wet wax pentagonal in dorsal view, hemispherical laterally, without horn, pink to reddish brown, with marginal flange, not hiding lateral filaments, without plates and nuclei. Dry wax with filaments as follows: Cephalic filament simple, apically acute; anterolateral and posterolateral filaments simple; mediolateral filaments apparently absent; caudal filaments simple; dorsal dry wax of first and second instars apparently absent, indicated only by small depression in wet wax. Stigmatic wax bands present near both spiracles, anterior band directed forward, nearly touching anteriorly, filamentous wax confined to stigmatic areas. On stems, twigs, and leaves; apparently preferring upper surfaces of leaves.

Validation characters

Leg reduced, tibia and tarsus fused; stigmatic setae of 2 distinct sizes, large central seta conical with rounded apex, other setae dome shaped; about 30 stigmatic setae laterad of each stigmatic furrow, arranged in 3 or 4 irregular rows; tubular ducts scattered over dorsum, absent from venter, inner filament unexpanded. Other characters: Dorsal setae cylindrical, apex truncate or broadly rounded; multilocular pores restricted to vulva area; marginal setae simple; 1 pair of prevulvar setae (often obscured by anal plates); multilocular pores restricted to area around vulva; multilocular pores anterior of anterior spiracle, when present, predominantly with 5 loculi, about same size as pores laterad of anterior spiracle; tibio-tarsal sclerosis absent; claw without denticle; claw digitules unequal; antennae 6-segmented, rarely with 5; area around anal region sclerotized, forming protuberance; anal plates rounded, without distinct angles; each anal plate with 1 subapical seta, 3 or 4 apical setae, and 1 subdiscal seta; anal fold with 6 fringe setae; preopercular pores inconspicuous, restricted to area anterior of anal plates; without submarginal tubercles.


Ceroplastes rubens is the only Ceroplastes species that has reduced legs and tubular ducts that are absent from the venter and abundant over the dorsum. It is easily distinguished in the field by having the front spiracular wax bands curved forward almost touching each other anteriorly.

U.S. quarantine notes

This species was intercepted 2,321 times on a variety of hosts at U. S. ports-of-entry between 1995 and 2012, with specimens originating from American Samoa, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Barbados, China, Christmas Island, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Fiji, French Polynesia, Grenada, Guam, Hawaii, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Martinique, New Caledonia, The Philippines, Puerto Rico, Samoa, South Africa, South Korea, St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Tahiti, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, The U.S. Virgin Islands, and Venezuela. We also have examined specimens taken in quarantine from American Samoa (Alyxia); Australia (Gardenia, Loranthus, Phaius); China (Litchi); Cook Islands (Alyxia); Dominica (Anthurium); Guam (fern); Hawaii (Alpinia, Alyxia); India (unknown leaf); Indonesia (Citrus, Mangifera); Jamaica (Aglaonema, Alpinia, Anthurium, Cinnamomum, Ixora, Mangifera, Polypodium, Zingiber); Japan (Azalea, Buxus, Camellia, Citrus, Diospyros, Euonymus, Eurya, Fatsia, Gardenia, Ilex, Magnolia, Malus, Pinus, Pittosporum, Prunus); Korea (unknown host); Pakistan (unknown host); The Philippines (Cycas, Laurus); St. John (Pimenta); St. Lucia (Anthurium); Saipan (Barringtonia, Mangifera); Tahiti (Gardenia, Polypodium); Taiwan (Camellia, Cephalotaxus); Thailand (Citrus, Cycas, Garcinia); Trinidad (Dieffenbachia, Laurus); and Venezuela (Aglaonema). ScaleNet includes hosts in over 80 families and lists locality information from all zoogeographic regions. One species of Ceroplastes other than C. ceriferus (Fabricius), C. cirripediformis Comstock, C. floridensis Comstock, C. japonicus Green, C. rubens, C. rusci (Linneaus), C. sinensis Del Guercio and C. stellifer (Westwood) has been intercepted at a U. S. port-of-entry, C. cistudiformis Cockerell (Mexico, on Punica).

Important references

GimpelMiDa1974; HamonWi1984; Tang1991; WilliaWa1990.

Scalenet catalog and citation list

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