Pseudococcus comstocki (Kuwana)



Common name

Comstock mealybug

Field characters

Body oval; slightly rounded in lateral view; body pink to light reddish brown; mealy wax covering body, usually thick enough to hide body color except on intersegmental lines; without longitudinal lines on dorsum; ovisac ventral only; with 17 lateral wax filaments, most about 1/4 width of body, straight, thin, posterior 2 pairs longer than others, posterior pair longest, varying from 1/4 to 2/3 length of body. Primarily occurring on foliage, stems, and bark of host. Oviparous, eggs pinkish brown. Surface of lateral filaments smooth.

Validation characters

Dorsal setae long, almost as long as ventral setae; translucent pores on hind coxa, femur, and tibia; dorsal oral-collar tubular ducts scattered over surface particularly on thorax and head; ventral oral-collar tubular ducts present in clusters between antennae and laterad of front and middle coxae; oral-rim tubular ducts usually sparse on dorsum, most abundant on abdomen, least abundant in medial area of thorax; without discoidal pores near eye.


Pseudococcus comstocki is similar to P. apodemus Williams and P. odermatti Miller and Williams by having long dorsal setae, dorsal oral-collar tubular ducts, and translucent pores on the hind coxa, femur, and tibia. Pseudococcus comstocki differs from P. apodemus by having the penultimate cerarius without basal sclerotization and many more translucent pores on the hind tibia. It differs from P. odermatti by having the penultimate cerarius without basal sclerotization and translucent pores on the hind coxa.

U.S. quarantine notes

This species was intercepted 148 times at U. S. ports-of-entry between 1995 and 2012, with specimens originating from Armenia, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, China, Ecuador, Guatemala, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Japan, Laos, Mexico, New Zealand, The Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, St. Lucia, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and N. Ireland, The U. S. Virgin Islands, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. It is taken at U. S. ports-of-entry primarily on fruit trees and ornamental shrubs. ScaleNet lists the species from more than 35 families of host plants and considers it to be polyphagous; distribution records include all zoogeographical regions of the world. Several species of Pseudococcus other than P. aurantiacus Williams, P. baliteus Lit, P. calceolariae (Maskell), P. comstocki, P. cryptus Hempel , P. dendrobiorum Williams, P. elisae Borchsenius, P. jackbeardsleyi Gimpel & Miller, P. landoi (Balachowsky), P. longispinus (Targioni Tozzetti), P. lycopodii Beardsley, P. maritimus (Ehrhorn), P. microcirculus McKenzie, P. nakaharai Gimpel & Miller , P. odermatti Miller & Williams, P. philippinicus Williams, P. pithecellobii Gimpel & Miller, P. soleneydos Miller & Gimpel and P. viburni (Signoret) have been taken at U. S. ports-of-entry including: P. agavis MacGregor (Mexico, on Agave); P. apodemus Williams (The Philippines, on Fortunella and Mangifera); P. apomicrocirculus Gimpel and Miller (Mexico, on orchids); P. apoplanus Williams (India, on orchids); P. chenopodii Williams (Australia, on Brunia); P. concavocerarii James (Somalia, on Euphorbia); P. donrileyi Gimpel and Miller (Mexico, on Citrus; Puerto Rico, on Melicoccus); P. eucalypticus Williams (Australia, on Eucalyptus and Chamelaucium); P. gilbertensis Beardsley (Guam, on Dracaena; The Philippines, on Citrus); P. importatus McKenzie (Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Jamaica, Madagascar, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, The Philippines, South Africa, Trinidad, and Venezuela, on orchids); P. neomaritimus Beardsley (Mexico, on Citrus, Psidium, and Punica); P. neomicrocirculus Gimpel and Miller (Costa Rica, Guatemala and Venezuela, on orchids); P. orchidicola Takahashi (Kwajalein, Marshall, Samoa, and Tonga, on Alocasia, Dendrobium and Pandanus); P. peregrinabundus Borchsenius (Ecuador, on Musa); P. saccharicola Takahashi (Vietnam, on Saccharum); P. sociabilis (Brazil, on Annona, Cattleya, Carica, Hedera, Hippeastrum, Dahlia, Oncidium, Solanum and Zygopetalum); and P. solomonensis Williams (Micronesia and Palau, on Musa and Piper).

Important references

McKenz1967, Willia2004.

Scalenet catalog and citation list

Click here for a Catalog.

  Pseudococcus comstocki  
 Photo by D. R. Miller

Pseudococcus comstocki

Photo by D. R. Miller

  Pseudococcus comstocki

Pseudococcus comstocki

  Pseudococcus comstocki   Illustration by Douglas Williams

Pseudococcus comstocki
Illustration by Douglas Williams