Aulacaspis vitis is a member of a complex of morphologically similar and very variable species (Takagi and Williams, 1998; Takagi, 1999). The line drawings used in this work show one of the members of the complex (A. calcarata, described by Takagi, 1999). Unfortunately there are no suitable taxonomic illustrations of A. vitis (Green) available. The lateral tubercles on the head of A. calcarata are much more prominent than in most of the members of the complex, including A. vitis.
Appearance in life not documented, but probably with scale cover of adult female subcircular to oval, slightly convex, white with yellow submarginal or marginal exuviae. Scale cover of male smaller than that of female, elongate, parallel-sided, white and tricarinate with yellow-brown terminal exuviae.
Slide-mounted adult female with swollen cephalothorax, rather variable in shape, usually widest at mesothorax; lateral tubercles, situated well anterior to anterior spiracles, often prominent; posterior spiracles usually not associated with spiracular pores; gland spines and macroducts absent from thorax and head AUVIS.jpg . Pygidium with median lobes zygotic, without any setae or gland spines between their bases; abdominal segment VI bearing 1 or 2 submedian macroducts on each side; and pore prominences between pygidial lobes well developed AUVIP.jpg .
AUVIP11.jpg and AUVIP12.jpg . On a variety of hosts including mango; does not feed on grasses.
Members of the Aulacaspis vitis complex have been recorded from hosts belonging to 10 plant families. Hosts include species of: Acalypha, Durio zebethinus, Elaeagnus, Ellipanthus, Grewia, Kandelia, Loranthus, Mallotus, Mangifera and Vitis.
Affected plant stages: vegetative growing, flowering and fruiting stages
Affected plant parts: on the leaves
Biology and ecology
The biology of this scale insect species group has not been studied. Apparently reproduction is sexual. 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.
No mention of economic damage has been found in the literature, but the quantity of material received at CAB International Institute of Entomology for identification over the years suggests that members of the A. vitis complex are quite common in southern Asia, especially India, and sometimes reach densities that cause concern.
Detection and inspection methods
Examine the leaves for subcircular to oval, white scale covers with yellow submarginal or marginal exuviae.
The natural enemies of A. vitis have not been documented.
See Aulacaspis vitis distribution.
Microscopic examination of slide-mounted adult females is required for authoritative identification to species.
Aulacaspis marina Takagi and Williams, 1998 AULMARL4.jpg is a member of the A. vitis complex, but differs from A. vitis in having the median lobe as broad as the inner lobule of the second lobe; 1 or more disc pores by each posterior spiracle; and submarginal dorsal macroducts on abdominal segment I normally completely absent. In A. vitis, the median lobe is usually broader than the inner lobule of the second lobe; disc pores are usually absent from beside each posterior spiracle; and there are usually 1 or more submarginal dorsal macroducts on abdominal segment I AUVIP.jpg. Aulacaspis marina is known from West Malaysia, Indonesia (Bali) and the Philippines (Palawan) on species of Rhizophora (Takagi and Williams, 1998). Heavy infestations could be damaging to mangrove swamps, which are important nurseries for commercially important species of fish. AULMARL1.jpg , AULMARL2.jpg , AULMARL3.jpg
Members of the Aulacaspis vitis group are tropical species that probably originated in Asia or the islands that lie south of it. They have not been recorded from Europe, Africa, or from the Western Hemisphere.
Bihar: The Natural History Museum collection, London, UK
Karnataka: The Natural History Museum collection, London, UK
Kerala: The Natural History Museum collection, London, UK
Tamil Nadu: The Natural History Museum collection, London, UK
West Bengal: The Natural History Museum collection, London, UK
Java: present, no further details (Williams and Watson, 1988)
Sumatra: The Natural History Museum collection, London, UK
Japan: present, no further details (Danzig and Pellizzari, 1998)
Malaysia: The Natural History Museum collection, London, UK
Pakistan: The Natural History Museum collection, London, UK
South-East Asia: present, no further details (Danzig and Pellizzari, 1998)
Sri Lanka: present, no further details (Williams and Watson, 1988)
Taiwan: The Natural History Museum collection, London, UK
Papua New Guinea: present (Williams and Watson, 1988)