Common name

Stellate scale

Field characters

Body round, covered with transparent or slightly translucent wax, developed into 6 or 7 radiating arms giving the appearance of a star fish, each arm with white conical tip; body of female convex in cross section, pink or purplish red, becoming darker in older females; without an ovisac; hemispherical body forms a cavity under female where eggs are laid. Normally found on leaves.

Validation characters

Diagnosis: 10 or more long setae between antennae; tibia and tarsus fused, without sclerosis; area around anal region sclerotized, forming protuberance; 6-15 spiracular setae in each cleft, arranged in 2 or 3 rows, intergrading from short to long; marginal setae simple. Other characters: Tubular ducts absent; without submarginal tubercles; each anal plate with 2 or 3 apical setae and 1 subdiscal seta; without subapical setae; anal fold with 5 or 6 fringe setae, normally 6; multilocular pores normally with 10 or more loculi; multiloculars present in vulvar area only; multilocular pores anterior of anterior spiracle predominantly with 5 loculi, about same size as pores laterad of anterior spiracle; claw without denticle; claw digitules equal; 1 pair of prevulvar setae (often obscured by anal plates); anal plates rounded, without distinct angles; antennae 6-segmented; preopercular pores inconspicuous, restricted to area anterior of anal plates.


Ceroplastes stellifer is similar to other species of Ceroplastes by forming a thick wax cover in life and by having more than 3 stigmatic setae arranged in multiple rows in each stigmatic furrow, area around anal plates sclerotized and raised, and no submarginal tubercles. Ceroplastes stellifer differs by forming a star-shaped wax covering (most other Ceroplastes species have globular or volcano-shaped wax) and by having more than 10 long setae between antennae (most other Ceroplastes species have 4 to 6 such setae), no tubular ducts (most other Ceroplastes species have at least a few tubular ducts), and a fused tibia and tarsus (most other Ceroplastes species have tibia and tarsus separate).

U.S. quarantine notes

This species was intercepted 1,803 times at U. S. on a variety of hosts ports-of-entry between 1995 and 2012, with specimens originating from Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, The British Virgin Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Domincan Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Hawaii, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Malaysia, Martinique, Mexico, Micronesia, Montserrat, Panama, Peru, The Philippines, Puerto Rico, Senegal, South Africa, St. Barthelemy, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tonga, The U.S. Virgin Islands, Venezuela, and Vietnam. We also have examined specimens taken in quarantine from Antigua (Laurus, Peperomia); Bahamas (Eugenia); Barbados (Laurus, Pimenta); Belize (Asplenium, Trigonidium); Brazil (Cattleya, Epidendrum, Stanhopea); The British Virgin Islands (Oncidium); Colombia (Heliconia, orchid); Costa Rica (palm, Peristeria); Cuba (Mangifera); Domican Republic (Brassia, Cattleya, Epidendrum, Lycaste, Musa, Oncidium); El Salvador (orchid); Guadeloupe (Mangifera); Guatemala (Stanhopea); Guyana (Epidendrum, Stanhopea); Haiti (Oncidium, Phalaenopsis); Honduras (Garcinia, Gardenia); Indonesia (Ixora); Jamaica (Begonia, Broughtonia, Epidendrum); Martinique (Mangifera); Malaysia (Paphiopedilum); Mexico (Chamaedorea, Laelia, Zingiber); Montserrat (Laurus); Panama (Cinnamomum, Epidendrum, Laelia, Lindleyella, Lycaste, Oncidium, Peristeria, Schinus, Stanhopea); Puerto Rico (Citrus, Garcinia, Gardenia, Laurus, Musa, Psidium, Stanhopea); Singapore (Garcinia), Sri Lanka (Vanda); St. Croix (Mangifera); St. Kitts (Citrus); St. Martin (Anthurium); Thailand (Cypripedium, Garcinia, Schefflera); Tonga (Alyxia); Trinidad (Bifrenaria, Epidendrum, Gongora, Neobenthamia, Oncidium, Stanhopea); Venezuela (bromeliad, Cattleya, Cycnoches, orchid). ScaleNet lists hosts in more than 20 plant families and includes geographic records from all zoogeographic regions, although it appears to be uncommon in the Palaearctic region (records for Italy and The Netherlands). One species of Ceroplastes other than C. ceriferus (Fabricius), C. cirripediformis Comstock, C. floridensis Comstock, C. japonicus Green, C. rubens Maskell, C. rusci (Linneaus), C. sinensis Del Guercio and C. stellifer has been intercepted at a U. S. port-of-entry, C. cistudiformis Cockerell (Mexico, on Punica).

Important references

DeLott1971b; Gill1988; Granar1999; HamonWi1984; WilliaWa1990.

Scalenet catalog and citation list

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