University of California

A systematic study of Ovaticoccus Kloet and its relatives, with a key to North American genera of Eriococcidae (Homoptera: Coccoidea: Eriococcidae)


Douglass R. Miller
Howard L. McKenzie

Authors Affiliations

Douglass R. Miller was Research Assistant in Entomology, Davis; Howard L. McKenzie was Entomologist in the Experiment Station, Davis.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 38(13):471-539. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v38n13p471. October 1967.

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This is a preliminary study of four small genera of the family Eriococcidae Fernald, namely, Cornoculus Ferris, Oregmopyga Hoy, Ovaticoccus Kloet, and Spiroporococcus Miller. A fifth genus, Eriococcus Targioni-Tozzetti, not investigated in detail, is included in this presentation only because Oregmopyga nudula (Ferris) seems to belong there. At first we believed that the group constituted one genus, Ovaticoccus, but after much study we concluded, as had (Ferris (1955)) and (Boratynski (1958)), that the group is extremely heterogeneous. Both of those authors believed that the relationships could be understood only when more species were discovered. Now the addition of 10 species to the group—two described by (McKenzie in 1964) and eight described in the present paper—permits a more definitive classification.

The senior author has done most of the systematic work in this study and is wholly responsible for the descriptions of the eight new species and the new genus. His name will appear alone as their author.

To make a natural generic classification it was necessary to describe the new genus Spiroporococcus to hold three species previously in Ovaticoccus. Also it was necessary to transfer one species from Ovaticoccus to Oregmopyga and another from Oregmopyga to Eriococcus. The characters used to separate these genera may seem insignificant, but we feel that the generic designations are justified because biological differences such as host and position on the host conform with these subtle key characters. Future workers may find important taxonomic aid in the physiological characters revealed by chromatography. Study of the males, so often ignored in work on Coccoidea, is another area that may be of much future importance.

The four genera that we concentrated on show so many characters in common that they may constitute a tribe or some other suprageneric category. Although we do not feel sufficiently familiar with the family as a whole to propose such a designation, we are using ovaticoccin as a common name, to show some relationship among these genera. This common


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Miller D, McKenzie H. 1967. A systematic study of Ovaticoccus Kloet and its relatives, with a key to North American genera of Eriococcidae (Homoptera: Coccoidea: Eriococcidae). Hilgardia 38(13):471-539. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v38n13p471
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