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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Suborder: Sternorrhyncha
Superfamily: Coccoidea
Family: Putoidae
Beardsley, 1969


Putoidae is a family of scale insects commonly known as giant mealybugs or putoids. There is probably a single genus, Puto, containing about sixty species.[1] The genus name Macrocerococcus has also been used but it is now considered to be a synonym of Puto.[2] The genus Puto was formerly classified as a member of the Pseudococcidae;[3] however, it so significantly differed from the rest of the Pseudococcidae that it was accorded its own family Putoidae.[4][5]


Giant mealybugs occur on a wide range of hosts, each species having it own specific host. Host plants commonly include conifers, grasses and various woody shrubs. All parts of the plant can be infested.[2]


The adult female is oval and up to five millimetres long and concealed by tufts of powdery white wax. If the wax is removed, two longitudinal black stripes can be seen on the upper surface of the body and the wax glands are large and conspicuous. The legs and antennae are well developed and a dark colour.[2]

Life cycle[edit]

There are generally four instars in the female and five in the male. In many species there is a single generation each year and the first instar is the over-wintering stage.[2] Puto sandini however takes four years to complete its life cycle.[6]


  • Puto antennatus Sign., 1875 ("conifer mealybug")[7][8]


  1. ^ Beardsley, John W. (1969). "A new fossil scale insect (Homoptera: Coccoidea) from Canadian amber". Psyche 76 (3): 270–279. doi:10.1155/1969/82354. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Family: Putoidae". USDA Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved February 22, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Puto: Names". Encyclopedia of Life. April 2013. Archived from the original on 27 December 2013. 
  4. ^ Ben-Dov, Yair (1994), A systematic catalogue of the mealybugs of the world (Insecta: Homoptera: Coccoidea: Pseudococcidae and Putoidae) with data on geographical distribution, host plants, biology and economic importance, Andover, Hampshire, UK: Intercept Limited, ISBN 978-1-898298-07-6 
  5. ^ Williams, D. J. et al. (2011). "A study of the scale insect genera Puto Signoret (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Coccoidea: Putoidae) and Ceroputo Šulc (Pseudococcidae) with a comparison to Phenacoccus Cockerell (Pseudococcidae)" (PDF). Zootaxa 2802: 22. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 February 2013. 
  6. ^ R. I. Washburn (1965). "Description and bionomics of a new species of Puto from Utah (Homoptera: Coccoidea: Pseudococcidae)". Annals of the Entomological Society of America 58 (3): 293–297. 
  7. ^ Signoret, V. (1875) "Essai sur les cochenilles ou gallinsectes (Homoptères - Coccides), 15e partie" Annales de la Société Entomologique de France (serie 5)
  8. ^ Reyne, A. (1954). "A redescription of Puto antennatus Sign. (Homoptera: Coccidea); with notes on Ceroputo pilosellae Sulc and Macrocerococcus superbus Leon". Zoologische Mededelingen 32 (24): 291–324. Archived from the original on 31 December 2013.