Monday, April 30, 2012

Farm Doctor: The Iceplant Scale Is Discovered in Hawaii

The iceplant scale (Pulvinariella mesembryanthemi Vallot, Hemiptera Sternorrhyncha: Coccidae) is a soft scale insect that was detected for the first time in the state of Hawaii. It was found in the North Hawaii area of the Big Island on akulikuli, an ornamental groundcover plant. The sample which was first collected in November 2011 by a homeowner was submitted to the Cooperative Extension Service and routed through the UHM-ADSC, Hawaii Department of Agriculture and the USDA. The identification was determined by Gregory A. Evans, Entomologist, Systematic Entomology Laboratory, USDA-APHIS-PPQ, in Beltsville, MD.

The body is green in newly formed scales and later turns reddish brown in older females. Most noticeable are the white, waxy ovisacs that contain the eggs. Soft scales feed on plant sap and are often associated with honeydew and ants.

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