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Common name

Orchid pit scale

Field characters

Test pear shaped; slightly convex in lateral view; test green or pale to bright yellow; body covered by translucent test with faint medial and submarginal carinae. Marginal and dorsal areas with yellow or salmon wax filaments; dorsal filaments arranged in 6 to 11 groups along median line and in about 14 groups in submedian and submarginal areas. Dorsal filaments slightly longer than marginal filaments. Occurring on stems, leaves, and fruit.

Validation characters

Dorsal 8-shaped pores arranged in submedian and submarginal groups; also present in single marginal row; with submarginal row of discoidal pores on dorsal side of marginal 8-shaped pores, without these pores on ventral side of marginal 8-shaped pores; submarginal quinquelocular pores in a complete row around body margin terminating near posterior marginal 8-shaped pores; ventral anal-lobe sclerotization pear shaped. Other characters: Legs absent; antennae 1-segmented; without a pygidium; 8-shaped pores prevalent.


Asterolecanium epidendri is similar to A. agavis Russell but differs by having marginal quinquelocular pores in complete row including between antennae (incomplete and not present between antennae in A. agavis) and pear-shaped sclerotization on ventral anal lobe (absent in A. agavis).

U.S. quarantine notes

This species was intercepted 7 times at U. S. ports-of-entry between 1995 and 2012, with specimens originating from Belize, Guatemala, Indonesia, Madagascar, Mexico, and The Philippines. We also have examined specimens taken in quarantine from Australia (Dendrobium); Bahamas (Epidendrum, Oncidium); Belize (bromeliad, Cattleya, Encylia, Oncidium, Tillandsia); Bolivia (orchid); Brazil (Bifrenaria, bromeliad, Cattleya, Cymbidium, Dendrobium, Laelia, Octomeria, Oncidium, Philodendron, Sophronitis); British West Indies (Oncidium); Colombia (bromeliad, Cattleya, Odontoglossum, Oncidium, Spathiphyllum); Costa Rica (Acinetas, Anthurium, Arpophyllum, Brassavola, Brassia, Bulbophyllum, Cattleya, Epidendrum, Laelia, Odontoglossum, Oncidium, Trichopilia); Cuba (Brassia, Epidendrum, Psidium); Dominica (Epidendrum); Dominican Republic (Brassia, Epidendrum, Oncidium); Ecuador (Maxillaria, Oncidium); El Salvador (orchid); England (Oncidium); Fiji (Piper); Ghana (Desmodium); Guatemala (Chamaedorea, Cypripedium, Epidendrum, Heliconia, Spathiphyllum, Tillandsia); Guyana (Peristeria); Haiti (Epidendrum, Oncidium); Honduras (Anthurium, Brassia, Epidendrum, Philodendron, Tillandsia); India (Cymbidium); Jamaica (Anthurium, Broughtonia, Oncidium, Tillandsia, Vanda); Madagascar (Bulbophyllum, Grammangis, Phaius); Malaysia (Agrostophyllum); Mexico (Anthurium, Chamaedorea, Epidendrum, Laelia, Odontoglossum, Oncidium, Philodendron, Stanhopea, Tillandsia); Nicaragua (bromeliad, orchid); Panama (bromeliad, Catasetum, Cattleya, Cypridium, Epidendrum, Gongora, Miltonia, Neomorrea, Oncidium, Paphiopedilum); Paraguay (Epidendrum); Peru (bromeliad, Oncidium, Zamia); Puerto Rico (Oncidium); St. Lucia (orchid); Trinidad (Epidendrum, Gongora, Oncidium, Rodriguezia); Venezuela (Cattleya, Epidendrum, Gongora, Maxillaria, Oncidium); Zaire (orchid). ScaleNet lists host in 14 plant families, and distribution records include all zoogeographical regions. It is most commonly collected on orchids. Asterolecanium epidendri is apparently native to the new world and has recently been introduced into the Afrotropical, Australasian, and Oriental zoogeographic regions. Two other species of Asterolecanium have been taken in quarantine in addition to A. epidendri: A. garciniae Russell (Sri Lanka, on Garcinia); and A. ungulatum Russell (Thailand, on Durio).

Important references

Russel1941; Stumpf2000.

All references mentioned

Asterolecanium epidendri