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Volume 48, 1915
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Art. XLIV.—Notes on some Coccidae in the Canterbury Museum, together with a Description of a New Species.

[Read before the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, 3rd November, 1915.]

Since my last paper on New Zealand Coccidae was read before this Institute I have had an opportunity of making an examination of the Coccid slides deposited in the Canterbury Museum by the late Mr. W. M. Maskell, and the following are some notes on the different species.

Eriococcus multispinus Mask., Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. 11 (1879), p. 217; vol. 23 (1891), p. 21; vol. 24 (1892), p. 31.

In dealing with this species, Mr. Maskell has undoubtedly mixed up E. multispinus with E. pallidus In his original diagnosis of E. multispinus (vol 11, p. 217) he states, “The insect is seen to have several rows of large conical spines. The antennae have 6 joints, the 3rd being the longest, the 4th and 5th equal to each other and nearly round.” Again, in giving the generic and group distinctions among the Acanthococcidae and Dactylopinae (vol 24), “Passing now to the genus Eriococcus, figs. 11, 12, and 14 of Plate IV show that there are three antennal forms, and figs 16 and 17 that there are two forms of marginal spines in the genus. Fig 14 (E raithbyi) differs from Fig. 11 (E. multispinus) only in having 7 joints: in both the joints are subequal. But in Fig. 12 (E. pallidus)the 3rd joint is much longer than any of the others. As regards the spines, those of E pallidus and its allies are shown in Fig. 16 to be much larger and more slender than those of E. multispinus and its allies, Fig. 17.” In treating of the variations of E pallidus (vol 23, p. 21), he says, “This species exhibits several variations in the arrangement of the dorsal spines, and

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slightly in the size and colour of the sac…. I leave all these as variations of one species, chiefly on account of the antennae, which I find similar in all, with 6 joints, of which 5 are subequal; but the 3rd joint is longer, usually equal to any two of the others. This character, together with the slenderness of the spines, distinguishes E. pallidus from E. multispinus, irrespective of variations in the sac, which are not, indeed, important.”

There can be no doubt after reading these different descriptions that Maskell's first description of E. multispinus undoubtedly referred to what he afterwards called E. pallidus, the antennae of which have 6 joints, the 3rd being the longest, and the spines long and slender. On the other hand, the antennae of E. multispinus consist of 6 subequal joints, and the spines are, in comparison, short and broad.

Now, this alteration in the diagnosis would not have been of so much consequence but for the fact that Mr. Maskell made the same mistake when forwarding specimens to others who were working on the Coccidae, and the slide in the Museum shows that such a mistake has evidently been made, and it needs only a slight glance at this specimen to see that the 3rd joint of the antennae is much longer than any of the others and that the spines are long and slender, both of which facts point to its being E pallidus. Unfortunately, there are no slides in the Museum labelled “E pallidus,” so that the two species cannot be compared.

Some time ago I forwarded to Mr. E. E. Green, F.E.S., one of the leading English authorities on the Coccidae, some specimens, under the name of E. multispinus, and received an answer saying that it differed in several important characteristics from Maskell's multispinus. On my still pointing out several characteristics mentioned by Maskell in Trans. N.Z. Inst, vol. 23, I received the following, which I here quote “I see that you are right about the 6-jointed antennae of E multispinus, but on comparing your specimen with typical examples (received from Maskell himself) I am still of opinion that your insect is distinct. The character and arrangement of the spines is very different in the two insects. If the difference should be considered to be insufficient to warrant the erection of a new species, your insect should at least be distinguished by a varietal name.” I have lately forwarded Mr. Green specimens of both species, and at the same time pointed out the mistake made by Mr. Maskell when describing his species.

Dactylopius poae Mask., Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. 11 (1879), p. 220; vol. 23 (1891), p. 23.

This is another species that will want investigating. The normal generic characters of this genus are as follows. Adult female with antennae of 8 joints, the last joint almost invariably longer than the penultimate; mentum biarticulate, legs persistent, anal lobes small or rudimentary. In the genus Ripersia the antennae consist of 6 joints, rarely of 5 or 7. Maskell's diagnosis of D. poae, given in Trans, N.Z Inst., vol 11, p. 220, is practically useless as a means of identification. In his book on “New Zealand Scale Insects” he simply mentions that the antennae consist of 8 joints, and are very short. The slide in the Museum labelled “D poae” contains only the anterior portion of the insect, with the antennae, rostrum, and anterior pair of legs. I made a very careful examination of the antennae, and found that it consisted of only 6 joints, the 3rd and apical joints being longest and about equal to each other. This

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material difference would, of course, at once place the insect in the genus Ripersia, and, if all the other characteristics are the same, would agree with my description of Ripersia globatus, published in Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. 47, p. 155, which I think will eventually become a synonym of Maskell's species under the name of Ripersia poae.

Eriochiton spinosus Mask.

Ctenochiton spinosus Mask., Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. 11 (1879), p. 212. Eriochiton spinosus Mask., Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. 19 (1887), p. 47. Lecanium armatus Brittin, Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. 47 (1915), p. 152.

This species is undoubtedly the same as the one reported by me under the name of Lecanium armatus. Maskell's diagnosis and diagrams of E. spinosus are very imperfect, and it was little wonder that I was unable to recognize it from his description. In vol. 11, p. 212, when describing it under the name of C. spinosus, he states that the abdominal lobes are as usual. This is not correct, and, in fact, the lobes appear to be very unusual for the genus Ctenochiton. Again, in E. spinosus the anal ring is situated between the lower half of the abdominal lobes. Since my last paper was read before this society I have been able to find specimens covered with a thin cottony test, similar to that of an Eriococcus. These specimens will, I think, turn out to be Maskell's E. hispidus (Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. 19, p. 47). They appear to agree very well with his description, but the difference is so slight that they may be eventually placed as a variety of E. spinosus rather than as a distinct species. Up to the present time I have been unable to find any signs of a test covering my original species. Maskell's slide in the Museum is a typical example of the species.

Mytilaspis drimydis Mask., Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. 11 (1879), p. 196.

I have carefully examined the slide of this species deposited in the Museum, and can come to no other conclusion than that it is the second instar of one of the Fiorinia, and most probably F. stricta. The extremity of the pgyidium, with its broad flat squames, small narrow lobes, and the presence of few dorsal spinnerets, together with the absence of grouped circumgenital glands, all point to its being the early stage of the second instar of some species of the Fiorinia. I should mention that Maskell's F. stricta and F. asteliae have been both placed in the genus Leucaspis.*

Subfam. Diaspinae.

Genus Odonaspis?

Odonaspis? leptocarpi sp. nov.

Puparia of the females situated underneath the ligules of the plant on which they live, they are always found packed closely together, and consequently it is very hard to distinguish the separate puparia. Ventral scale complete, white, and remains firmly attached to the plant; dorsal portion white, elongate. Exuviae yellow, and appear to be situated rather to one side at the anterior extremity. Dorsal portion generally attached to ligule, and separates from the ventral scale on detaching the ligule from the stem, thus leaving the insect uncovered.

[Footnote] * E. E. Green, F.E.S.: “Some Remarks on the Coccid Genus Leucaspis, with Descriptions of Two New Species.” Trans. Entom. Soc., London, February, 1914, pt in, iv.

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Adult female elongate-ovate, being equally rounded at both extremities; colour pink, turning bright green on maceration in potash. Segmentation very distinct. Body covered with minute wrinkles. Eyes in living insects very prominent, and appear as large dark granulated spots. Rudimentary antennae with two or three rather long hairs. Rostrum rather more chitinized than is usually found in the Diaspinae; mentum appearing as a round ring. Spiracles widely dilated at outer extremity and tapering inward to a small round orifice. Parastigmatic glands absent. Pygidium broader than long, slightly chitinized, with 5 groups of circumgential glands; anterior group 6–8 glands; anterior laterals 16–18; posterior laterals 18–24; anterior group widely separated from the rest; lateral groups almost joining. Anal orifice situate midway between anterior lateral groups. Margin of pygidium with a crenulate appearance, without lobes or large marginal tubular spinnerets. Dorsal tubular spinnerets in series; the first six series are immediately beneath the grouped glands, and each consists of from 6 to 8 spinnerets, extending directly upwards towards the grouped glands; the next series on each side extends upwards along the outer side of the circumgenital glands to a level with the anterior group. Each segment above has numerous tubular spinnerets at the outer margin, and on each articulation there is a series of rather larger spinnerets extending directly in towards the body; there are also a few spinnerets on the lower half of the cephalic segment. Above the antennae there are a few short spiny hairs.

Length, about 1.08 mm; width, 0.54 mm.

Hab.—On Leptocarpus sp., at present only from New Brighton.

Note.—The genus Odonaspis has not hitherto been recorded as occurring in New Zealand.