Submitted to: Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/7/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Many scale insects are important pests in agricultural systems particularly on fruit trees, woody ornamentals, and in greenhouses. A major research thrust is underway to provide the correct names for all 7,000 species of scales so that published information, including methods of control, can be easily retrieved. The mealybug genus Sphaerococcus, since its description in 1892, has included species of pit scales, felt scales, gall scales, and date scales, none of which are even remotely similar to mealybugs. The purpose of this research is to correctly place the 39 species of scale insects that were described in the genus Sphaerococcus so that they can be properly treated in the world database of scale insects. This database, called ScaleNet, is currently available on the World Wide Web and the information included in it will be useful to researchers in IPM, APHIS/PPQ, and scale insect taxonomy.
Technical Abstract: The genus Sphaerococcus Maskell has been the "dumping ground" for many rotund scale insects that did not seem to fit elsewhere. Although the genus is a member of the Pseudococcidae as defined by its type species, the family placement of many species is questionable or unknown. The purpose of this paper is to provide evidence for the correct family placement of each species described in Sphaerococcus.