Peculiar, diverse and dangerous to crops: A checklist of the scale insects of Iran

Oct 02, 2013
Peculiar, diverse and dangerous to crops: A checklist of the scale insects of Iran
This image shows the scale insect Rhizopulvinaria artemisiae (Signoret). Credit: M. Moghaddam

A detailed annotated checklist of the scale insects of Iran, describing a total of 275 species from 13 families, represents a first effort towards a better knowledge of the Coccoidea family in attempt to improve the view in practical fields such as pest control management. The scale insects species are listed along with their locality data and host plants. In addition to latest species names for any record, new records for Iran and new host plants for some scale insects species. The study was published in the open access journal Zookeys.

Scale insects of the superfamily Coccoidea are sap-sucking hemipterous insects with an estimated 8000 within 49 families, of which 16 are only known from fossils. They vary dramatically in appearance, some of them are very small (around 1 mm) and grow beneath wax covers, others look like shiny pearl-like objects or are covered with mealy wax. These peculiar looking creatures secrete a waxy coating for defense. This makes them resemble reptilian scales or fish scales, hence their common name.

Scale insects are studied relatively little in Iran, but are economically important as they cause reduced crop yield through their feeding and transferring pathogen microorganisms to a wide range of plants. "Although the scale insects of Iran have been relatively well studied, there is still a strong need for further investigations, including extensive collections of these families in Iran," explains the author of the study Dr Masumeh Moghaddam, Iranian Research Institute of Plant Protection, Tehran.

Peculiar, diverse and dangerous to crops: A checklist of the scale insects of Iran
This image shows Eriococcus abaii (Danzig). Credit: M Moghaddam

Peculiar, diverse and dangerous to crops: A checklist of the scale insects of Iran
This image shows the scale insect species Trabutina mannipara (Hemprich & Ehrenberg). Credit: M Moghaddam

The new detailed study of the Coccoidea superfamily aims at paving the road for future research on this important group of insects and the practical implementation of knowledge in pest control management.

Explore further: Tiny parasite may contribute to declines in honey bee colonies by infecting larvae

More information: Moghaddam M (2013) An annotated checklist of the scale insects of Iran (Hemiptera, Sternorrhyncha, Coccoidea) with new records and distribution data. ZooKeys 334: 1. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.334.5818

Related Stories

A list of the planthoppers of Iran

Nov 08, 2011

A list of 235 planthoppers from Iran is recorded along with distribution data. This list is based on previous studies on Iranian Auchenorrhyncha during last 100 years. In addition to the latest species names for any record, ...

Ladybirds - wolves in sheep's clothing

Jun 24, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- CSIRO research has revealed that the tremendous diversity of ladybird beetle species is linked to their ability to produce larvae which, with impunity, poach members of 'herds' of tiny, soft-bodied ...

Recommended for you

Do you have the time? Flies sure do

15 minutes ago

Flies might be smarter than you think. According to research reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on May 28, fruit flies know what time of day it is. What's more, the insects can learn to con ...

Barking characterizes dogs as voice characterizes people

3 hours ago

An international group of researchers has conducted a study on canine behavior showing that gender, age, context and individual recognition can be identified with a high percentage of success through statistical ...

Bird beaks feeling the heat of climate change, say scientists

4 hours ago

While the human population grapples with ways to counter the effects of climate change, Deakin University research has discovered that birds might have been working on their own solution for the past 145 years – grow bigger ...

How longhorned beetles find Mr. Right

17 hours ago

A longhorned beetle's sexy scent might make a female perk up her antennae. But when the males of several species all smell the same, a female cannot choose by cologne alone.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.