Acutaspis perseae

(Comstock, 1881)

Scale cover of adult female in life circular, 1.25-2.0 mm across, flat, rather thin, dark reddish brown (darker towards centre) with dark grey to black central exuviae (Ferris, 1941; Dekle, 1976; Howard and Oliver, 1985). Scale cover of male smaller than that of female, oval, with black submarginal exuviae (Dekle, 1976). ACPERL.jpg

Body of slide-mounted adult female broadly pyriform, with lateral margins becoming sclerotized with maturity ACPERS.jpg ; anterior margin of cephalothorax rounded, remaining membranous. Pygidium base broad but apex acute, subtended by an angle of less than 90°; lateral margins rather concave and sclerotized; with three pairs of short, wide lobes; paraphyses present lateral to, as well as between, third lobes; plates present only in interlobular spaces; more than 16 dorsal submarginal macroducts present on each side of pygidium. ACPERP1.jpg

Host range
Acutaspis perseae has been recorded on hosts from 10 plant families (Borchsenius, 1966); it prefers Magnolia and Zamia in Florida (Dekle, 1976). Hosts include species of: Anthurium, Bletia, Cecropia, Cycas, Eugenia, Euonymus, Ilex, Laelia, Magnolia, Olea, Persea americana, Philodendron, Pinus, Sabal, Viburnum, Xolisma and Zamia.

Affected plant stages: vegetative growing, flowering and fruiting stages

Affected plant parts: on leaves

Biology and ecology
The biology of A. perseae has not been studied. The only mention of males in the literature is by Dekle, 1976; other authors (Ferris, 1941; Howard and Oliver, 1985) have not observed males, so there may be parthenogenetic reproduction in some populations.

Crawlers are the primary dispersal stage and move to new areas of the plant or are dispersed by wind or animal contact. Mortality due to abiotic factors is high in this stage. Dispersal of sessile adults and eggs occurs through human transport of infested plant material.

Economic impact
Acutaspis perseae is an important pest of ornamental plants under glass in Switzerland (Kozár and Hippe, 1996). Borchsenius, 1966, and Schmutterer et al., 1957, mentioned that A. perseae was a damaging species. It is not regarded as a pest in Florida (Dekle, 1976).

Detection and inspection methods
Examine the leaves of ornamental plants closely for circular, flat, dark reddish brown scale covers.

Natural enemies
The natural enemies of A. perseae have not been studied.

See Acutaspis perseae distribution.

Microscopic examination of slide-mounted adult females is required for authoritative identification to species.

Acutaspis scutiformis (Cockerell, 1893) ACSCUS.jpg lacks the prominent lateral marginal tubercles that are present in A. perseae ACPERS.jpg; also, mature specimens of A. scutiformis often become sclerotized around the entire margin, whereas the anterior margin usually remains membranous in A. perseae. A. scutiformis is a polyphagous species that has been recorded from USA (Texas), Mexico, Argentina, Aruba, Brazil (Amazonas, Guanabara, Minas Gerais, Pará, Paraná, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Sao Paulo), Colombia and Guatemala, on hosts from 8 plant families (Borchsenius, 1966; Silva et al., 1968; Nakahara, 1982; Miller, 1996; Claps et al., 2001a; Kondo, 2001), including species of Artocarpus, Citrus, Cocos, Ficus, Ilex, Laurus, Ligustrum, Musa, Persea americana, Prunus, Olea europaea and Schinus. The species is a pest of bananas in Central America (Chua and Wood, 1990). Scale cover of adult female up to 3.0 mm in diameter, circular, flat, thick, dark brown with yellowish subcebtral exuviae; male not known (Ferris, 1941). ACSCUP.jpg

Clavaspis herculeana (Cockerell and Hadden, 1909) CLAHES.jpg is superficially similar to A. perseae but it lacks perivulvar pores and has a pair of very large, clavate paraphyses on the pygidial margin CLAHEP.jpg. A. perseae possesses perivulvar pores and lacks such large, clavate paraphyses ACPERP1.jpg. Clavaspis herculeana is a rather inconspicuous species that has probably been undercollected. It is tropicopolitan and polyphagous, and is known from USA (Florida, Hawaii, Texas), Mexico, many Caribbean islands (e.g. Jamaica, Trinidad), most Central and South American countries (e.g. Panama, Argentina (Corrientes, Missiones, Rio Negro), Brazil (Sao Paulo)), Ascension Is, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe, West Malaysia, Philippines, Cook Is, Fiji, New Caledonia, Society Is, Tonga, Western Samoa and Australia on species of Acacia, Aleurites, Annonaceae, Bauhinia, Cassia, Citrus, Condalia, Erythrina, Faramea, Ficus, Gossypium, Grevillea, Jasminum, Leguminosae, Macadamia, Malus sylvestris, Mangifera, Mimosa, Morus, Muehlenbeckia, Myristica, Olea europaea, Pithecellobium, Plumeria, Pyrus, Rosa, Solanum, Spondias, Vitex and Xylosma (Silva et al., 1968; Nakahara, 1981; Nakahara, 1982; Williams and Watson, 1988; Williams and Williams, 1988; Miller, 1996; CSIRO, 2001). See also genus Clavaspis, kingdom Animalia.

Pseudischnaspis bowreyi (Cockerell, 1893) PSBOWS.jpg has a pygidium rather similar to species of Acutaspis PSBOWP1.jpg but its body is elongate (more than twice as long as wide), whereas the body of Acutaspis spp. is broadly pyriform to heart-shaped (less than twice as long as wide ) ACPERS.jpg.

Acutaspis perseae is probably of Neotropical origin. It has not been recorded from Asia, Africa, Australia, or from the Pacific islands.

Former USSR: under glass in the more northern countries (Danzig and Pellizzari, 1998)
Ukraine: under glass (Nakahara, 1982)
France (under glass): present, no further details (Foldi, 2001)
Germany: under glass (Nakahara, 1982)
Italy: under glass (Longo et al., 1995)
Switzerland: present under glass (Kozár and Hippe, 1996)
United Kingdom: possibly present under glass, only at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (C.P. Malumphy, Central Science Laboratory, UK, pers. comm.)

Western Hemisphere
Brazil: present, no further details (Nakahara, 1982)
Guanabara: present, no further details (Silva et al., 1968)
Rio de Janeiro: present, no further details (Claps et al., 2001a)
Rio Grande do Sul: present, no further details (Claps et al., 2001a)
Central America: present, no further details (Nakahara, 1982)
Colombia: present, no further details (Nakahara, 1982; The Natural History Museum collection, London, UK)
Cuba: present, no further details (Nakahara, 1982)
Jamaica: The Natural History Museum collection, London, UK
Mexico: present (Miller, 1996)
Trinidad: present, no further details (Nakahara, 1982)
Alabama: present, no further details (Nakahara, 1982)
District of Colombia: present, no further details (Nakahara, 1982)
Florida: present, no further details (Nakahara, 1982)
Georgia: present, no further details (Nakahara, 1982)
Louisiana: present, no further details (Nakahara, 1982)
Missouri: present, no further details (Nakahara, 1982)
New York (under glass): present, no further details (Nakahara, 1982)
Oklahoma: present, no further details (Nakahara, 1982)
South Carolina: present, no further details (Nakahara, 1982)
Tennessee: present, no further details (Nakahara, 1982)
Texas: present, no further details (Nakahara, 1982)
Venezuela: present, no further details (Nakahara, 1982)