Antonina graminis (Maskell)



Common name

Rhodesgrass scale

Field characters

Body broadly oval to circular; rotund in lateral view; body dark purple or brown; without lateral wax filaments; enclosed in a white, felted sac that turns yellow with age; usually with a long, slender, white waxy tube protruding through a hole in the ovisac at the posterior end of the body. Usually present on the crown or nodes of the grass host. Ovoviviparous, first instars are cream colored. Legs absent.

Validation characters

Legs absent or represented by sclerotized pockets; antennae reduced to 2 or 3 segments; spiracles with trilocular pores only, present in sclerotized band surrounding spiracular atrium; clusters of discoidal pores in ventrosubmarginal areas of abdominal segments II or III to VII or VIII; without dorsal and dorsomarginal band of multilocular pores; abdominal segments not forming sclerotized plate-like structures on segments III or IV to VIII; anal ring at apex of internal tube.


Antonina graminis differs from other species of Antonina by having the multilocular pores confined to the ventral area mesad of the discoidal pore clusters and lacking plate-like structures on the anterior abdominal segments.

U.S. quarantine notes

This species was intercepted at U. S. ports-of-entry once between 1995 and 2012, with the specimen originating from The Netherlands. It is included because it is a very common species and has been taken in quarantine often in years past.It is commonly taken on a diversity of grass hosts, but is rarely collected on bamboos. ScaleNet lists species of host plants in the Poaceae.It is taken in quarantine from nearly any warm part of the world where grasses are grown. ScaleNet distribution records for A. graminis include all zoogeographic regions. Other species of Antonina other than A. graminis and A. nakaharai Williams & Miller have been taken at U. S. ports-of-entry including: A. pretiosa Ferris (Burma, China, Cuba, and The Philippines, on bamboo); A. purpurea Signoret (France and Italy, on various grasses); and A. zonata Green (China, on bamboo).

Important references

WilliaWa1988aWilliaMi2002; HendriKo1999; WilliaGr1992.

Scalenet catalog and citation list

Click here for a Catalog.

  Antonina graminis   Illustration by Douglas Williams

Antonina graminis
Illustration by Douglas Williams

  Antonina graminis  
 Photo by G. Buxton

Antonina graminis

Photo by G. Buxton

  Antonina graminis

Antonina graminis