Image from page 33 of "A study of some social beetles in British Guiana and of their relations to the ant-plant Tachigalia" (1921)
Publisher: New York : New York Zoological Society
Contributing Library: Smithsonian Libraries
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coccids, is so unusual and start-ling that it will be advisable to give a more detailed account ofthese insects and of their treatment by the beetles. The adult female Psendococcus bromelix (Fig. 9) measuresnearly 3 mm. in length and is broadly and regularly elliptical,evenly convex dorsally, flattened ventrally and of a pinkish flesh-color or pale dull red, but the body is so completely coveredwith snow-white wax as to be scarcely visible in healthy speci-mens. The wax is secreted in a thin, even, mealy layer overthe dorsal surface but around the periphery of the body as aregular fringe of stiff, blunt pencils which are longest on theposterior segments, somewhat shorter on the anterior borderof the head and still shorter along the sides. Large specimensof the insect are less numerous in the petioles than the smalleror recently hatched individuals, many of which scarcely exceed.5 mm. in length. These are reddish because they have not yet 60 Zoologica: N. Y. Zoological Society [III; 3
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FIG. 9. PSEVDOCOCCIJS BROMELIAE BOUCHE. Sketch of an adult living female with intact covering and peripheral pencils of wax. secreted an appreciable quantity of wax from their dorsal in-tegument, and lack the peripheral fringe of snow-white pen-cils. I have not seen the males. Young individuals are ratheractive, not infrequently moving about in the petiole, but theolder ones remain stationary in the food grooves till the petiolebegins to dry up, when they take to wandering about aimlesslyin search of more succulent pastures. In specimens of the Pseudococcus treated with caustic potashand stained according to the method recommended by Mac-Gillivray (1921, Chapter II), the details of the integument areclearly visible (Fig. 10). Only a few of the structures are ofinterest in connection with the following behavioristic account,such as the anus, which is on the ventral surface of the flat- 1921] Wheeler: Some Social Beetles 61 tened posterior border of the body, and, on the dorsal surface,
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