Coccophagus scutellaris

Coccophagus scutellaris (Dalman)

Taxonomic placing: Insecta, Holometabola, Hymenoptera,Apocryta, Chalcidoidea, Aphelinidae.

Morphology: Both males and females are black and the females bear a prominent yellow spot on their dorsum. The wings are almost transparent, with a single vein. The legs are yellow.

Distribution: Almost cosmopolitan, except in colder regions.

Life history: Coccophagus scutellaris is an endoparasitoid of soft scales. A female may lay about 70 eggs, development in the host requires 3-4 weeks at 25°C, and it’s life span (usually about 2 weeks) can be extended by host feeding.. The smaller host instars are usually preferred, and more eggs are produced when C. scutellaris, which is little affected by ants, has several scale hosts available It is an autoparasite, the female developing as a primary endoparasite of Coccus hesperidum, whereas the male develops as a parasite of first and second larval instars of the females of its own species.

Economic importance: Coccophagus scutellaris is a major enemy of several pestiferous soft scales, such as Coccus hesperidum, Pulvinaria tenuivalvalta, Saissetia coffeae and Saissetia oleae, reducing their numbers by 25% or much more.

In commerce it may be obtained at several companies, such as (


Abd-Rabou, S. 2008. The effect of augmentative releases of indigenous parasitoid, Coccophagus scutellaris (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) on populations of Pulvinaria tenuivalvata (Hemiptera: Coccoidea) in Egypt. Sugar Cane International 26: 15-17.

Abd-Rabou, S. 2011. Coccophagus scutellaris (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae): A highly effective biological control agent of soft scale insects (Hemiptera: Coccidae) in Egypt. Psyche Article ID 431874,

El-Samea, S.A.A. 2003. Laboratory studies on Coccophagus scutellaris (Dalman) (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae), parasitoid of the soft scale insect, Pulvinaria tenuivalvata (Newstead), a pest of sugar cane in Egypt. Egyptian Journal of Agricultural Research 81: 967-980.

Faber, T. and Sengonca, C. 1997: Laboratory studies on the longevity and the fecundity of Coccophagus scutellaris (Dalm.) (Hym., Aphelinidae) as a parasitoid of the horse chestnut scale insect Pulvinaria regalis Canard (Hom., Coccidae). Gesunde Pflanzen 49: 84-88.

Jarraya, A. 1978. Host-parasite interactions between Coccus hesperidum L. (Hom. Coccidae) and its parasite Coccophagus scutellaris Dalman (Hym. Aphelinidae)]. La revue des Archives de l’Institut Pasteur de Tunis 55: 89-122.

Kapranas A. and Alejandro Tena, A. 2015. Encyrtid parasitoids of soft scale insects: biology, behavior, and their use in biological control. Annual Review of Entomology 60: 195-211.