Systematic review of the Australian 'bush coconut' genus Cystococcus (Hemiptera:Eriococcidae) uncovers a new species from Queensland

Thomas L. Semple*, Penny J. Gullan, Christopher J. Hodgson, Nate B. Hardy, Lyn G. Cook

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Australia houses some unusual biota (insects included), much of which is undescribed. Cystococcus Fuller (Hemiptera:Sternorrhyncha:Coccoidea:Eriococcidae) currently comprises two species, both of which induce galls exclusively on bloodwoods (Myrtaceae: Corymbia Hill & Johnson). These insects display sexual dichronism, whereby females give birth first to sons and then to daughters. Wingless first-instar females cling to their winged adult brothers and are carried out of the maternal gall when the males fly to find mates-a behaviour called intersexual phoresy. Here, we use data from two gene regions, as well as morphology and host-use of the insects, to assess the status of a previously undescribed species. We describe this newly recognised species as Cystococcus campanidorsalis, sp. nov. Semple, Cook & Hodgson, redescribe the two existing species-C. echiniformis Fuller and C. pomiformis (Froggatt), designate a lectotype for C. echiniformis, and provide the first descriptions of adult males, and nymphal males and females for the genus. We have also reinterpreted a key morphological character of the adult females. This paper provides a foundation for further work on the genus, which is widespread across northern Australia and could prove to be useful for studies on biogeography and bloodwood ecosystems.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)287-312
    Number of pages26
    JournalInvertebrate Systematics
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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