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Crisicoccus azaleae (Tinsley)



Common name

Azalea mealybug

Field characters

Body oval; possibly purple; legs probably yellow; lateral filaments short, inconspicuous or absent on head and thorax, short and about same length on abdomen; ovisac secretion white, felted, not covering dorsum, but developed ventrally;. Occurring on stems and leaves, normally on azaleas. Oviparous, eggs purple.

Validation characters

Fewer than 18 pairs of cerarii; dorsal setae on posterior 2 or 3 abdominal segments filamentous, about same length or longer than cerarian setae; dorsal setae on thorax conspicuously shorter than ventral setae; anal bar present; cerarii without filamentous auxilary setae except anal lobe pair.


Crisicoccus azaleae is most commonly confused with Planococcus japonicus Cox but differs by having 13 to 15 pairs of cerarii (17 or 18 in P. japonicus) and dorsomedial setae on posterior 3 abdominal segments filamentous and about same length or longer than cerarian setae (dosomedial setae on posterior 3 abdominal segments conical and slightly smaller than cerarian setae on P. japonicus). This species has also been confused with Crisicoccus matsumotoi (Shiraiwa) but differs by having 13 to 15 pairs of cerarii (up to 17 on C. matsumotoi), cerarian setae conical (filamentous on C. matsumotoi), dorsal thoracic setae less than half as long as ventral thoracic setae (about same length on C. matsumotoi).

U.S. quarantine notes

This species was not intercepted at U. S. ports-of-entry between 1995 and 2012, but it is included because is common on a number of ornamental and fruit tree hosts that are commonly imported into the U. S. We also have examined specimens taken in quarantine from Japan (Prunus, Pyrus). ScaleNet distribution records for C. azaleae include Nearctic and Palaearctic regions and it normally is found on azaleas. Several species of Crisicoccus other than C. azaleae have been taken at U. S. ports-of-entry including: C. echinodes Williams (The Philippines, on Lansium and Nephelium); C. hirsutus (Newstead) (India, on Mangifera); C. matsumotoi (Siraiwa) (Japan and The Philippines, on Chaenomeles, Codiaeum, Firmiana, Pyrus Japan and South Korea, on Pyrus); C. pilosus Ezzat and McConnell (India, on Dahlia); C. pini (Kuwana) (Japan on Pinus and Taxus); and C. theobromae Williams and Watson (Malaysia and The Philippines, on Punica and Nephelium).

Important references

Cox1989; Kawai1980; McKenz1967; Tang1992.

Scalenet catalog and citation list

Click here for a Catalog.

  Crisicoccus azaleae   Illustration by Jennifer Cox

Crisicoccus azaleae
Illustration by Jennifer Cox

  Crisicoccus azaleae

Crisicoccus azaleae