Pollinia pollini

Pollinia pollini (Costa)

Common name: Globe-shaped olive scale, globular mealybug.

Taxonomic placing: Insecta, Hemimetabola, Hemiptera, Sternorrhyncha, Coccomorpha, Coccoidea, Asterolecaniidae.

Morphology: The female body is oval, about 1-2 mm in length, orange-red and covered by white-grey wax. The dorsum bears 8-shaped pores that become denser around the vulva. The antennae are vestigial. The males are whitish-grey.

Distribution: Middle East, Iran, Iraq, North Africa, Southern Europe, The Netherlands and South America.

Host plants: Olive, fig (Ficus carica L.).

Life history: This pest has 1-2 annual generations, in spring and in late summer, preferring the southern and eastern tree (olive) aspects. Male larvae generally settle on the upper side of leaves and their growing points, the surfaces of twigs and fruit stalks. The female larvae also settle on the growing tips, the leaf and twig axils, and in cavities formed by borers. They form colonies on twigs and branches, in crevices or in cracks in the bark. Fertility is very low, about 4 progeny/female.

Economic importance: Pollinia pollini is usually a secondary pest of olive trees. However, at times and in some regions, such as Egypt, it is a serious pest, causing desiccation of the growing tips, defoliation, and fruit (olive) distortion.

Biological control: The pest is attacked by several coccinellids, such as Scymnus seriacus, Coccinella undecimpunctata L. and by Chrysoperlla carnea (Neuroptera).


Ahmed, N. 2012. Bionomics of Pollinia pollini (Costa) (Hemiptera: Asterolecanidae) in Egypt. The Journal of Basic & Applied Zoology 65: 9-16.

Alexandrakis, V., 1980. Données bioécologiques sur Pollinia pollini (Hom. Coccoidea, Asterolecaniidae) sur olivier en Crête. Annales Société Entomologique de France (N.S), 16: 14-17

Jiménez, R.M., Vargas, C.H., Bobadilla, G.O. and Gallo, D.P. 1989. Detección de la Cochinilla Globosa del olivo Pollinia pollini (Costa) (Homoptera, Asterolecaniidae) en la III Región de Chile, Copiapó. Idesia (Chile) 11: 57-59.

Liotta, G. and Sammartano, B. 1981: Bioethological data on Pollinia pollini (Costa) (Hom. Asterolecaniidae). Redia 64: 205-206.

Menzer, N., Aroua, K., Mokabli, A., Benzehra, A. and Biche, M. 2016. Biological data on Pollinia pollini (Coccoidea: Asterolecaniidae) on Olive tree in Mitidja (Algeria). Wulfenia 23: 162-169.