Scale insects (Hemiptera: Coccomorpha) on ornamental plants in greenhouses from the central zone of the Morelos state, Mexico.
The State of Morelos is the main producer of commercialized ornamental plant in Mexico. Many of them present phytosanitary problems that have not been clearly determined, among which are some insect pests known as armored scale insects, scales, soft scales or mealybugs. The objective of this study was to identify the insects belonging to the Coccomorpha infraorder and their host plants, in seven commercial greenhouses of the Morelos state. The different parts of ornamental plants, except roots, were examined during 2006. All the insects found were collected and preserved in 70% ethanol, to be later mounted in Canada Balsam for microscopic observation. For species determination, taxonomic keys were used and compared with specimens different collections. Eighteen scale insect species were recorded, distributed in the Coccidae (6 species), Diaspididae (5), Eriococcidae (1), Orhteziidae (1), and Pseudococcidae (4) families in 31 host plant species belonging to 16 families. Saissetia oleae (Oliver) was the most common species found at all greenhouses. A greenhouse at Yautepec had the largest number of plant species affected. The species Antonina pretiosa Ferris, Aonidiella orientalis (Newstead), Coccus viridis (Green), Diaspis echinocacti (Bouché), Hemiberlesia cyanophylli (Signoret), Insignorthezia insignis (Browne), Mycetaspis sphaerioides (Cockerell), Nipaecoccus nipae (Maskell), Palmicultor lumpurensis (Takahashi), Planococcus citri (Risso) and Rhizococcus coccineus (Cockerell) represent new records for Morelos. Antonina pretiosa and Palmicultor lumpurensis are new records for Mexico. None of the scale insects found represents a serious threat for local producers.