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Desmococcus is a small genus of scale insects from the family Margarodidae (Hemiptera).  This poorly known genus includes just two species: D. captivus and D. sedentarius, both native to the western United States, both described in 1942.  These sap-sucking scale insects live under the bark of mature pines of species Pinus monophylla (single-leaf pinyon) and Pinus edulis (Colorado pinyon).

Adult female Desmococcus are round in shape, grow to 2.5 mm long, lack legs, and have reduced antennae.  Nymphs are also round and up to 1 mm in size.  While D. captivus is known only from California, D. sedentarius is known only from Arizona.  The two species are distinguished from each other in that in D. captivus has 2 -3 cicastrices on the ventral surface of the 5th-7th abdominal segments and derm pores on posterior abdomen segments, neither of which occur on D. sedentarius.  These species are similar in behavior and morphology to other pine-inhabiting scales in the margarodid genera Pityococcus and Matsucoccus.  The impact of Desmococcus scales on the health of their pine hosts or on economics of pine farming is not understood.

(Ben-Dov 2013; 2013; Ben-Dov et al. 2013; 2013; Gill 1993)


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