History of the International Symposium on Scale Insect Studies (ISSIS);
now International Coccidology Symposium (ICS)

Hitherto there have been fifteen coccidologist´s symposiums. The first International Symposium on Scale Insect Studies (ISSIS) was held in 1972 in Canberra, Australia with some 20 participants from 9 countries. At the ISSIS XVth, it was decided to change the name of the coccidologist´s meetings to “International Coccidology Symposium – ICS” in order to avoid confusion with the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – ISIS”. However, the essence of this meeting remains the same. The International Coccidology Symposium is a formal occasion for scale insect specialists (coccidologists) and scientists working on scale insects to present their work related to scale insects. It is a place where scientists working on scale insects meet to discuss their work with colleagues and friends. ICS covers all aspects of scale insect studies, including systematics and morphology, ecology, genetics and evolution, zoogeography and fauna, biology and population dynamics, natural enemies, monitoring, and pest management. Most importantly, it is also intended as an opportunity to bring together people working on scale insects and to discuss the most recent research achievements in scale insect studies.


The International Symposium on Scale Insec”t Studies/International Coccidology Symposium is held every 3-4 years. It was being held every three years between 2001 and 2019, but because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the XVI ICS was postponed. There has been an average of 76 attendees (range 13-188), representing an average of 22 (range 8-43) countries. Details of each of the 15 ISSIS meetings held between 1972 and 2019, including the year, place, approximate number of participants and countries represented can be seen in Table 1.


Kosztarab (2004) gave the following reasons to conduct studies in Coccidology: “Globally, since 1975, species extinction rates doubled every ten years. Therefore, faunal inventories, that include the scale insects, are urgent. Coccidologists need to become more involved in the protection and management of habitats to conserve species diversity. Scale insects are ideal indicators of endangered habitats, especially where excessive nitrates were deposited from coal burning plants. More than half of the countries have no coccidologists, although the economic impact of scale insects is well known, and a large amount of unprocessed material is accumulated in collections. In addition, most of the species’ descriptions included the adult females only, neglecting males and immature stages. Training more Coccidologists is urgent. Unfortunately, too many scale insect experts (32) have recently died or retired. New students need broader training (to include molecular and cytogenetic studies) than their predecessors, to meet the biosystematics challenges of the 21st Century. They also need to be involved in more interdisciplinary/cooperative research with biologists, ecologists, cytogeneticists, and other biosystematists, to justify their work and receive funding. They need to convince IPM experts the value of the scale insect collections and the associated biological and ecological data for IPM work. The time for “l’art pour l’art” approach in systematics is past, and coccidologists need to become more pragmatic.


1 (1)  2 (1)  3 (1)  4 (1)


5 (1)  6 (1)  7 (1)  8 (1) 


9 (1)