Center for Systematic Entomology, Gainesville, Florida


Date of this Version



Suh S-J. 2023. Updated list of intercepted Coccidae (Hemiptera: Coccomorpha) at South Korean ports of entry and potential invasive species to South Korea. Insecta Mundi 0975: 1–7.


Published on February 3, 2023 by Center for Systematic Entomology, Inc. P.O. Box 141874 Gainesville, FL 32614-1874 USA

Copyright held by the author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons, Attribution Non-Commercial License,


An updated list is given of 25 species of soft scale insects (Hemiptera: Coccidae) which have been intercepted on plants imported into South Korea during the period of 1996 to 2021. Information on the num­ber of interceptions, host plants, distribution and origin of species intercepted at South Korean ports of entry is provided. In addition, data on intercepted species was analyzed to determine potential invasive species of soft scales that could threaten South Korean plants.

Soft scale insects (Hemiptera: Coccomorpha: Coccidae) occur in all zoogeographical regions of the world. The Coccidae is the third largest family of scale insects (Hemiptera: Coccomorpha) with 1225 species in 178 genera known worldwide (García Morales et al. 2022). Biologically, soft scales which are plant feeders, can occur on just about any part of the plant but are especially common on the stems, leaves and fruits (Miller et al. 2014). Many species are significant economic pests of fruits and also landscaping plants (Hamon and Williams 1984; Gill 1988; Miller et al. 2014; Kondo and Watson 2022). Invasive species of insects which are not native, represent an increasing concern to South Korea since globalization has been facilitating the increase in plant trade, promoting the long-distance movement of pests attached on these plants (Mazzeo et al. 2014). If non-native species are able to establish in a different environment, they often become economic pests, resulting in yield losses, diminished product quality, increased production costs, especially in the application of chemical control measures which often have a deleterious effect on the environment, humans and the ecology of the agroecosystem (Huber et al. 2002; Miller and Miller 2003). Many soft scales are serious pests, particularly those that are invasive species. In South Korea there are 31 species (2.5%) of the soft scales known worldwide. Of these, seven species (22.6%) are likely invaders, namely Ceroplastes rubens Maskell, Coccus ficicola Choi and Lee, Coccus hesperidum Linnaeus, Eucalymnatus tessellatus (Signoret), Parasaissetia nigra (Nietner), Saissetia coffeae (Walker) and Saissetia miranda (Cockerell and Parrott). In South Korea, soft scales are usually found on imported plants that are grown inside greenhouses (Paik 1972; Paik 2000; Choi and Lee 2017; 2018). Recently species such as C. ficicola and S. miranda were discovered on banyan figs (Ficus benghalensis L.; Moraceae) in South Korean greenhouses (Choi and Lee 2017; 2018). The brown soft scale, C. hesperidum, is a serious pest not only outdoors, but also in greenhouses and internal landscape environments (Paik 1972; Paik 2000; Kwon and Han 2003; Kwon et al. 2005; Lee and Choi 2019).

To prevent the introductions of harmful insects along these pathways, countries apply biosecurity measures to imported plant goods and products, including visual inspections at the points of entry (Saccaggi et al. 2021). Therefore, being able to compile and update information on intercepted soft scales will help to improve the inspection procedures, to detect, identify and mitigate the damage caused by exotic invasive species. This paper provides an updated list of soft scales intercepted on imported plants into South Korea during the period of 1996 to 2021 based on records in the Pest Information System (PIS) database of South Korea. In addition, it deals with potential invasive species of soft scales that could threaten South Korean natural and agricultural environments.