Body oval or elongate oval, convex in cross section. Live females are yellow, yellow green, or yellow brown; dead females are brown. Ovisac white about twice as long as the body of the female and is produced under and behind the female body; wax also partially covers the dorsum. Eggs are laid in the ovisac. Occurring on the leaves, branches, or fruit of the host. Males are present; they form a glassy pupal case that has many crystalline rods.
Dorsal setae absent; marginal setae spinose; with large two-ringed ducts (submarginal tubercles) located medially and submedially over dorsum, with more than 10 on each side of body; 4 apical setae on each anal plate, without discal setae; tubular ducts abundant on both surfaces. Other characters: Multilocular pores predominantly with 10 loculi, present on abdomen; usually with 3 stigmatic setae in each furrow, usually larger than marginal setae, with rounded apices, often interspersed with marginal setae; claw without a denticle; claw digitules large, equal; 3 pairs of prevulvar setae (posterior pair often obscured by anal plates); each anal plate with 3 subapical setae; anal fold with 2 fringe setae; with conspicuous tibio-tarsal sclerosis.
Philephedra tuberculosa is similar to other species of Philephedra by lacking dorsal setae, by having conspicuous two-ring ducts, spinose marginal setae, robust legs, and 8-segmented antennae. Philephedra tuberculosa is similar to P. ephedrae, P. colimensis, P. floridana, P. mimosae, and P. parvula by having two-ringed ducts in the medial and submedial areas of the dorsum. P. tuberculosa differs by having more than 65 two-ringed ducts on the dorsum (P. colimensis, P. floridana, P. mimosae, and P. parvula have fewer than 65) and by having 3 spiracular setae in each spiracular furrow (P. ephedrae has 1 or no spiracular setae).
This species was intercepted 8 times at U. S. ports-of-entry between 1995 and 2012, with specimens originating from Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico. We also have examined specimens from Bahamas (Carica), Colombia (Annona, Carica, Codiaeum, Cliricida, Gossypium), Costa Rica (Rosmarinus), Florida (Bursera, Carica, Codiaeum, Schinus) Guatemala (Codiaeum, Diffenbachia), Jamaica (Anthurium), Mexico (Acacia, Carica, Euphorbia, Ipomoea, Mangifera), Nicaragua (Carica), Puerto Rico (Annona, Carica, Codiaeum) and Venezuela (Carica). ScaleNet includes hosts in 21 plant families, and distribution records are from the Nearctic (Mexico, The United States of America (Florida, Texas) and Neotropical (various countries) zoogeographic regions. Three other species of Philephedra other than P. broadwayi (Cockerell), P. lutea (Cockerell) and P. tuberculosa Nakahara & Gill have been taken at U. S. ports-of-entry: P. floridana Nakahara & Gill (Honduras, on unknown leaves); P. cresentiae (Cockerell) (Mexico, on Leucaena); and P. parvula Cockerell (Mexico, on Leucaena).
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