Pulvinaria tenuivalvata

Pulvinaria tenuivalvata (Newstead)

Taxonomic placing: Insecta, Hemimetabola, Hemiptera, Sternorrhyncha, Coccomorpha, Coccidae.

Common name: Red-striped soft scale, Cottony grass scale.

Geographical distribution:

Morphology: The elongated body of the young female is initially grey, flat, later becoming convex and darker. The scale oviposits into a whitish ovisac, which may be quite long and its wax has light-red transverse stripes. Dorsum without tubular ducts, most of the dorsal setae are conical; the ventral tubular ducts are located in a narrow submarginal group and the anal plates are longer than wide.

Host plants: Sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum L.) and several other grasses, such as Imperata cylindrical (L.) P.Beauv.

Life history: The pest is active from May until December. It is parthenogenetic, at 28°C a generation is raised in around 5 weeks and each female produces about 200 offspring.

Economic importance: Pulvinaria tenuivalvata is an important pest of sugar cane; its feeding causes leaf withering and reductions in the sugar content.


Chemical control: Various organophosphates may kill 95% of the pests.

Biological control: The pest is attacked by several aphelinid endoparasitoids. The more important are Coccophagus scutellaris (Dalman) and Coccophagus semicircularis (Förster), which may kill up to 70% of the scales. The neuropteran Nimboa adelae (Monserrat) feeds on the pest in Egypt.


Abd El-samea, S.A. 2004. Studies on the biology and life table of the soft scale Pulvinaria tenuivalvata attacking sugar cane in Egypt (Hemiptera: Homoptera: Coccidae). Egyptian Journal of Agricultural Research 82: 1.

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.

Abdel-Moniem, A. 2003.Ecological studies on the red-striped sugarcane soft scale, Pulvinaria tenuivalvata (Newstead) (Hemiptera: Coccidae) in Upper Egypt. Archives of Phytopathology and Plant Protection 36:161-172. ·

Abdel-Rahman, R.S., Ismail, I.A.K and El-Shazly, E.E.A.S. 2016. Soft Scale Insect Pulvinaria tenuivalvata Infesting Sugar-Cane. Lambert Academic Publishers, E-book.

El-Samea, S.A.A. 2006. Coccophagus ochraceus Howard (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae), a new recorded parasitoid of the soft scale insect, Pulvinaria tenuivalvata (Newstead) (Homoptera: Coccidae) on sugar cane, Saccharum officinarum L. in Egypt. Egyptian Journal of Agricultural Research 84: 349.

El-Serwy, S.A. and Monserrat, V.J. 2009. Nimboa adelae Monserrat, 1985, predator, (Neuroptera: Coniopterygidae), a new recorded species on the red-striped soft scale, Pulvinaria tenuivalvata Newstead (Hemiptera: Coccidae) on sugarcane in Egypt. Egyptian Journal of Agricultural Research 87: 1329-1334.

El-Serwy, S.A., Guerrieri, E. and Evans, G.A. 2010. Nymphal and adult female parasitism of the red-stripped soft scale, Pulvinaria tenuivalvata (Newstead) (Hemiptera: Coccidae), and parasite complex on sugarcane in Egypt. XII International Symposium on Scale Insect Studies Pp. 28.

Shalaby, M.S.I. and Saleh, H.A. 2009. Efficiency of the parasitoid Coccophagus scutellaris (Dalman) and some insecticides against the soft scale insect Pulvinaria tenuivalvata (Newstead) in sugarcane fields. Archives of Phytopathology and Plant Protection 42.

Watson G. W. and Foldi, I. 2002. The identity of red-striped soft scale on sugarcane in Egypt, Pulvinaria tenuivalvata (Newstead) (Hemiptera: Coccidae). Bulletin of the Entomological Society of Egypt 79: 37-42.