Common name

Common white cottony cushion scale

Field characters

Body red, legs and antennae black, covered by layer of white to cream colored wax, median area sometimes with lemon yellow wax, marginal areas with fringe of wax processes all about same length; margin of body with long crystalline rods. Immature stages red, covered by lemon yellow wax. Ovisac produced below and behind female, conspicuously fluted. Eggs laid inside ovisac. Males uncommon. Occurring primarily on the leaves and stems of the host.

Validation characters

2 pairs of abdominal spiracles; large open center pores present around body margin; 3 cicatrices posterior of vulva; all cicatrices round or hour-glass shaped, lateral pair smaller than medial cicatrix; body covered with long black hairs; antennae usually 11-segmented. Other characters: Thoracic and abdominal spiracles simple, without pores in atrium; anal opening simple with sclerotized rim internally.


Icerya purchasi is very similar to I. koebelei by having 2 pairs of abdominal spiracles; 3 cicatices near vulva; and open center pores. Icerya purchasi differs by normally having 11-segmented antennae (those on I. koebelei are usually 10-segmented). They may be synonyms.

U.S. quarantine notes

This species was intercepted 160 times on a variety of hosts at U. S. ports-of-entry between 1995 and 2012, with specimens originating from Australia, Caribbean (Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, The U.S. Virgin Islands), Cape Verde, Colombia, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Eritrea, France, Greece, Guatemala, Hawaii, India, Italy, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Palestinian Territory, Peru, Puerto Rico, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey. Since 1970, we also have examined specimens taken in quarantine from Antigua (Citrus); Australia (Leucadendron); Azores (Mentha); Bahamas (Bouganvillea, Casuarina, Citrus); Barbados (Citrus, Medicago); Bermuda (Jatropha); Brazil (Citrus); China (Michelia); Costa Rica (Epipremnum); Dominican Republic (Aralia, Chlorophytum, Citrus, Gossypium, Melicoccus, Rosa, Rosmarinus); Ecuador (Citrus); France (Cassia, Mimosa); Greece (Rosmarinus); Guam (Tristiropsis); Guatemala (Chamaedorea); Haiti (Citrus); Israel (Banksia, Pittosporum); Italy (Aralia, Citrus, Morus, Pittosporum, Rosmarinus); Jamaica (Acaltha, Aralia, Bidens, Citrus, Mentha, Thymus); Japan (Citrus); Jordan (Vitis); Mexico (Artemisia, Citrus, Hedera, Philadelphus, Rosa, Rosmarinus, Schinus); Monaco (Amaranthaceae); The Netherlands (unknown plant); New Zealand (Erica); The Philippines (Fortunella, Pittosporum); Puerto Rico (Annona, Citrus); South Africa (Cussonia, Leucospermum); Taiwan (Citrus). ScaleNet includes hosts in more than 40 plant families from all 7 zoogeographic regions. No other species of Icerya have been taken in quarantine at U. S. ports-of-entry other than I. aegyptiaca (Douglas), I. pulchra (Leonardi), I. purchasi, I. samaraia (Morrison) and I. seychellarum (Westwood).

Important references

Gill1993; Morale1991; Morris1928; Rao1951a; WilliaWa1990.

Scalenet catalog and citation list

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