Ferrisia malvastra (McDaniel)



Field characters

Body elongate oval; dark gray; legs dark brown; body covered by white mealy wax, with 2 submedial longitudinal bare areas on dorsum; dorsal ovisac absent, a few filamentous strands on venter, forming a pad; with 1 pair of conspicuous lateral wax filaments, about one half as long as body. Occurring on all parts of the plant, usually in protected areas. Usually ovoviviparous. With numerous thin crystalline rods protruding from dorsum.

Validation characters

Within Ferrisia-like tubular ducts, dark rim around opening of duct orifice is called sclerotization A, lighter area outside of A is called sclerotization B. Discoidal pores incorporated in or touching A; setae associated with ferrisia-like tubular ducts usually touching A; sclerotization B on anterior abdominal segments usually weakly developed or absent; body rotund; without clusters of small oral-collar tubular ducts ventrally on posterior abdominal segments; ventral multiloculars usually restricted to posterior 2 abdominal segments; 1 pair of cerarii.


Ferrisia malvastra is most similar to F. terani Williams & Granara de Willink by having multilocular pores restricted to the vulvar area, no clusters of small oral-collar tubular ducts on venter of posterior abdominal segments and duct diameter of ferrisia-like tubular ducts unusually narrow. Ferrisia malvastra can be distinguished (characters of F. terani in parentheses) by having a rotund body (elongate oval); setae associated with ferrisia-like tubular ducts normally touching sclerotization A [where sclerotization A is defined as dark rim surrounding opening of duct orifice], usually not in center of sclerotization B [where sclerotization B is defined as lighter sclerotized area outside of A] (normally not touching A); sclerotization B usually absent or poorly developed (sclerotization B readily apparent). It is difficult to distinguish these species based on morphological characters but the molecular data presented by Kaydan and Gullan (2012) clearly show that they are distinct.

U.S. quarantine notes

Ferrisia was recently revised by Kaydan & Gullan (2012) and at least some of the recent interception records of Ferrisia species represent misidentifications of other species. This species is included because we have examined authentically determined specimens taken in quarantine from Bermuda (Malvaceae, Sedum ?); China (Adenium); Cuba (Euphorbia); Domincan Republic (Cereus, Mammillaria); Jamaica (cactus, potato, Thymus); Madagascar (Euphorbia); Mexico (Ambrosia, Chrysanthemum, Datura, Pelecyphora, Ruta, Shasta daisy); Puerto Rico (cactus); The Netherlands (Kochia). The species as currently recognized is polyphagous and is found in all but the Autralasian and Orienal zoogeographic regions, although it does occur in Hawaii. Several species of Ferrisia other than F. dasylirii (Cockerell), F. malvastra McDaniel, F. terani Williams & Granara de Willink and F. virgata have been taken at U.S. ports-of-entry including F. colombiana Kaydan & Gullan (Colombia, on cut flower); F. kondoi Kaydan & Gullan (Guyana, on Syzygium; Honduras, on Codiaeum; Mexico, on Echeveria, Gardenia, Zingiber); F. meridionalis (Argentina, on grape, grapefruit; Chile, on Hypericum; Mexico, on Euphorbia; Uruguay, on Baccharis); F. pitcairnia Kaydan & Gullan (Puerto Rico, on bromeliaceae), F. uzinuri Kaydan & Gullan (Bahamas, on Codiaeum; Dominican Republic, on Citrus; Haiti, on Phaseolus); F. williamsi Kaydan & Gullan (Bolivia, on Codiaeum; Brazil, on Spondias; Guyana, on Codiaeum; Nicaragua, on orchid).

Important references

KaydanGu2012; WilliaGr1992; Willia2004.

Scalenet catalog and citation list

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  Ferrisia malvastra   Illustration by Douglas Williams

Ferrisia malvastra
Illustration by Douglas Williams

  Ferrisia malvastra

Ferrisia malvastra