The Genera Hemiberlesia and Abgrallaspis in North America with Emphasis on Host Relationships in the H. Howard (Cockerell) Complex (Homoptera: Coccoidea: Diaspididae)

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1960

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Abstract

The work reported consists of revisionary studies of Hemiberlesia Cockerell 1897 and Abgrallaspis Balachowsky 1948 in North America. The interpretation of North America is that of Ferris (1937), "all the mainland from the Arctic regions to and including the Panama Canal Zone." According to Ferris (1942), Hemiberlesia contained 15 species. As a result of this study, only eight of these species are here referred to Hemiberlesia. They are: rapax (Comstock), lataniae (Signoret), popularum (Marlatt), ignobilis Ferris, cupressi (Cockerell), diffinis (Newstead), candidula (Cockerell), and palmae (Cockerell). The species H. coniferarum (Cockerell) is newly assigned having previously been placed in Diaspidiotus Berlese and Leonardi, by Ferris. A tenth species, H. pseudorapax McKenzie, was assigned to this genus by its author. Seven of the 15 species have been assigned to Abgrallaspis. Both these genera appear to be North American in origin. Abgrallaspis was originally created for six species. Three of these occur in North America and were transferred from Hemiberlesia by Balachowsky. They are: palmae (Cockerell), degeneratus (Leonardi), and cyanophylli (Signoret). The last named species was designated as the genotype. Balachowsky (1953) later reassigned palmae to Hemiberlesia and transferred four more North American Hemiberlesia species to Abgrallaspis, namely, howardi (Cockerell), comstocki (Johnson), coloratus (Cockerell), and fraxini (McKenzie). A study of these species in the National Coccoid Collection revealed a complex centering about A. howardi as conceived by Ferris (1938). Usual morphological comparisons of slide mounted adult females failed to yield results, therefore, host transfer experiments were undertaken. A population of "howardi" of Ferris was secured on pachysandra. A total of 2,700 individual crawler transfers were then made to 20 different host plants. These hosts had been chosen because a preliminary study indicated unusual character variation in specimens collected from them. Fourteen of the test hosts (largely ornamentals) were later found to be infested with 14 to 54 per cent of the transferred crawlers. These crawlers were allowed to mature. Adult females were then collected and mounted for study. Six host plant species were completely unacceptable to infestation by the transferred crawlers. Five of these were plum, pear, peach, apple, and pine. A. howardi was described from plum in Colorado, and later recorded from such hosts as pear, peach, and apple. A study of the species Ferris synonymized with A. howardi revealed the test population to be A. townsendi (Cockerell), which was described from an unknown host in Mexico, and later recorded from a long list of ornamentals primarily in the southern and eastern United States. This species is redescribed and the name revalidated. A table is presented showing the variations found in salient taxonomic characters of A. townsendi collected from 14 different experimental host plants. Important variations in the size of the second lobes of A. townsendi were recorded. Second lobe reduction from three-fourths the length of the median lobes to mere hyaline points was observed. Specimens in the last category strongly resemble Diaspidiotus ancylus (Putnam). Aside from these second lobe variations, A. townsendi is a relatively stable species from the standpoint of host determined morphological variables. Avocado was the sixth test host on which transferred crawlers would not develop. Long series of scales from this host are present in the National Collection. They were collected from avocado fruit in quarantine at Texas, from Mexico. This species, A. perseus Davidson, is described as new herein. As here understood for North America, Abgrallaspis contains 13 species. Six were placed in this genus by Balachowsky, and seven by the writer. The last are: flabellata (Ferris) from Hemiberlesia; quercicola (Ferris) from Hemiberlesia; mendax (McKenzie) from Hemiberlesia; oxycoccus (Woglum) from Aspidaspis Ferris; ithacae (Ferris) from Aspidaspis; perseus Davidson as a new species; and townsendi (Cockerell) as a revalidated name. A brief presentation of materials and methods utilized in the host transfer experiments is followed by a discussion of the structural characters used in this work. Descriptions of Hemiberlesia and Abgrallaspis are accompanied by keys and descriptions to all the species in North America. Figures of adult female pygidial characters and scale coverings are provided for all species considered in these two genera.

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