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1 September 2006 A NEW NORTH AMERICAN RECORD FOR HALIASPIS NAKAHARAI (HEMIPTERA: STERNORRHYNCHA: DIASPIDIDAE)
Trevor Randall Smith, Ronald D. Cave, Greg S. Hodges
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While searching for the prey of the newly described scale-feeding beetle Cybocephalus kathrynae T. R. Smith (Smith & Cave 2006) on the coastal sand dunes of Bahia Honda State Park, Monroe Co., Florida, we collected a diaspidid scale on seashore dropseed, Sporobolus virginicus (L.) Kunth (Poaceae), in a habitat dominated by sea oats, Uniola paniculata L (Poaceae) (Fig. 1). The scale was identified as Haliaspis nakaharai Howell, which represents a new North American record for this species. Prior to this record, H. nakaharai had only been collected in Puerto Rico and Vieques Island on the same host plant species. Voucher specimens are deposited in the Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Gainesville, FL, and labeled as follows: USA: Florida, Monroe Co., Bahia Honda State Park, N24°39’54”-W81°15’21”; V-14-2005; Trevor Smith & R. D. Cave (E2005-2555-301).

We suspect that H. nakaharai may occur throughout the range S. virginicus, which is distributed along the coastal areas of the Gulf states and the Caribbean. This grass is very important in maintaining coastal dune habitats. Seashore dropseed has extensive root systems with long rhizomes connecting one grass clump to another, similar to sea oats, which help anchor the dunes. While much of the seashore dropseed at the collection site was infested with H. nakaharai, nowhere did we observe any population densities that could be considered anything but slight. Many scales showed indications of predation. On the same scale-infested plants we observed several individuals of the coccinellids Chilocorus cacti (L.), Exochomus childreni childreni Mulsant, and Naemia seriata seriata (Melsheimer). None of the scales appeared to be parasitized.

These scales can be identified with the original illustrations and description (Howell 1978) or keyed with the “Key to species of Haliaspis of Puerto Rico” (Colón-Ferrer & Medina-Gaud 1998).

We thank Howard Frank for reviewing a draft of the manuscript. This research was supported in part by a grant from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS 7276186-12) and approved for publication as IRREC series No. 020602.

Summary

Haliaspis nakahari Howell is recorded from North America for the first time. The species was taken in Bahia Honda State Park, Florida, on seashore dropseed, Sporobolus virginicus (L.) Kunth.

References Cited

1.

M. Colón-Ferrer and S. Medina-Gaud . 1998. In. Contributions to the systematics of the Diaspidis (Homoptera: Diaspididae) of Puerto Rico. University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus. Agric. Experiment Station, Dept. of Crop Protection, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, 258 pp. Google Scholar

2.

J. O. Howell 1978. Three new species of armored scales from Mexico and Puerto Rico. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am 71:401–407. Google Scholar

3.

T. R. Smith and R. D. Cave . 2006. The Cybocephalidae (Coleoptera) of America north of Mexico. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. (in press). Google Scholar

Appendices

Fig. 1.

Collection site at Bahia Honda State Park.

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Trevor Randall Smith, Ronald D. Cave, and Greg S. Hodges "A NEW NORTH AMERICAN RECORD FOR HALIASPIS NAKAHARAI (HEMIPTERA: STERNORRHYNCHA: DIASPIDIDAE)," Florida Entomologist 89(3), 414-415, (1 September 2006). https://doi.org/10.1653/0015-4040(2006)89[414:ANNARF]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 September 2006
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