Parasaissetia nigra (Nietner)



Common name

Nigra scale

Field characters

Body oval to elongate oval depending on host; usually convex in lateral view, but sometimes less convex in newly matured females or in specimens from different hosts; body color varies with host, often translucent yellow, sometimes with brown or red flecks; body turning brown or black with age; without an obvious wax covering; ovisac absent. Occurring on arboreal parts of plant. Males usually absent; eggs laid under body of female.

Validation characters

Mature females with reticulate pattern on dorsum; marginal setae slightly enlarged, fimbriate; without subdiscal or discal setae on anal plates; dorsal setae often slightly capitate. Other characters: Antennae usually 8-segmented; ventral tubular ducts in submarginal band around body margin; claw without denticle; claw digitules equal; 3 pairs of prevulvar setae (posterior pair often obscured by anal plates); 1-21 submarginal tubercles around body margin; stigmatic setae differentiated from other marginal setae, middle seta conspicuously longer than lateral setae; each anal plate with 4 apical setae, without a subdiscal seta; with 3 or 4 subapical setae on each plate; anal fold with 6 to 8 fringe setae; without tibio-tarsal sclerosis; multilocular pores normally with 10 loculi; multiloculars usually present near vulvar area and submarginally from segment 2 to segment 8; preopercular pores in small numbers, obvious.


Parasaissetia nigra is similar to species of Saissetia by having a reticulate pattern on the dorsum but differs by lacking a discal seta on the anal plates.

U.S. quarantine notes

This species was intercepted 220 times on a variety of hosts at U. S. ports-of-entry between 1995 and 2012, with specimens originating from American Samoa, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote D’ Ivoire, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Hawaii, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Lebanon, Mali, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Peru, The Philippines, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Syrian Arab Republic, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. It is quite cosmopolitan and polyphagous; therefore older quarantine records are not presented. ScaleNet includes hosts on over 94 plant families from all zoogeographic regions in 110+ countries. No other species of Parasaissetia has been taken at a U. S. port-of-entry.

Important references

Gill1988; HamonWi1984; Hodgso1994a; HodgsoHe2000; WilliaWa1990.

Scalenet catalog and citation list

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  Parasaissetia nigra   Illustration by R. J. Gill

Parasaissetia nigra
Illustration by R. J. Gill

  Parasaissetia nigra  
 Photo by R. J. Gill

Parasaissetia nigra

Photo by R. J. Gill

  Parasaissetia nigra

Parasaissetia nigra