Welcome to ScaleNet. This site is all about scale insects (Coccoidea): a group of insects comprising about 7,500 species. Scale insects vary dramatically in their appearance from very small organisms (1-2mm) that occur under wax covers (some look like oyster shells), to shiny pearl-like objects (about 5mm), to creatures covered with mealy wax. They spend most or all of their lives feeding on plants and are primarily important as plant pests in greenhouses, backyards, and on fruit trees.
The objective of this site is to provide comprehensive information on the scale insects of the world, including queriable information on their classification, nomenclatural history, distribution, hosts, and literature. Currently information can be retrieved for 49 families, namely Aclerdidae (grass scales), Albicoccidae, Arnoldidae, Asterolecaniidae (pit scales), Beesoniidae, Burmacoccidae, Callipappidae, Carayonemidae, Cerococcidae (ornate pit scales), Coccidae (soft scales), Coelostomidiidae, Conchaspididae (false armoured scales), Dactylopiidae (cochineal scales), Diaspididae (armoured scale insects), Electrococcidae, Eriococcidae (felt scales), Grimaldiellidae, Grohnidae, Halimococcidae, Hammanococcidae, Inkaidae, Jersicoccidae, Kermesidae (gall-like scales), Kerriidae (lac scales), Kukaspididae, Kuwaniidae, Labiococcidae, Lebanococcidae, Lecanodiaspididae (false pit scales), Lithuanicoccidae, Marchalinidae, Margarodidae (ground pearls), Matsucoccidae (bast scales), Micrococcidae, Monophlebidae, Ortheziidae (ensign scales), Pennygullaniidae, Phenacoleachiidae, Phoenicococcidae (date scales), Pityococcidae, Pseudococcidae (mealybugs), Putoidae, Rhizoecidae, Serafinidae, Steingeliidae, Stictococcidae, Stigmacoccidae, Weitschatidae, and Xylococcidae.
The Reference database of ScaleNet includes about 25000 references, the majority of which have been published since Linnaeus (1758). However, it also contains several pre-Linnean publications that are relevant to the nomenclature and systematics of the Coccoidea.
If you click on Queries on the left side of this page you will be presented with the query page and be able to begin searching for the information you need. For a detailed explanation of what each query performs, see the Query Descriptions page.
A new initiative in ScaleNet is the development of identification tools. The first component is now available by clicking on Keys to Scale Families in the left column. It is a LUCID expert system that will help make identifications of the extant Coccoidea families. We are grateful for the financial support provided by APHIS/CPHST that allowed us to develop this tool. A second key on the mealybugs commonly intercepted at US ports-of-entry is currently being developed.
The database used to manage scale-insect information is called BASIS and was developed by Gary Gibson and Jennifer Read. The query programming for this site was developed and implemented by Richard S. Carson & Associates Inc. For further information on how ScaleNet was developed, contact Jane Laroussi.
Thank you for visiting ScaleNet: we hope that you find the information contained on this site useful and informative. Please send your questions, comments or constructive criticism concerning ScaleNet to Dug Miller and Yair Ben-Dov.