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Datasheet

Chrysomphalus aonidum (circular scale)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 11 October 2017
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Pest
  • Natural Enemy
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Chrysomphalus aonidum
  • Preferred Common Name
  • circular scale
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
C. aonidum is a leaf-infesting species. The scales appear as circular dark spots.
TitleSymptoms on leaves
CaptionC. aonidum is a leaf-infesting species. The scales appear as circular dark spots.
CopyrightClive Lau
C. aonidum is a leaf-infesting species. The scales appear as circular dark spots.
Symptoms on leavesC. aonidum is a leaf-infesting species. The scales appear as circular dark spots. Clive Lau
In high-density infestations C. aonidium may spread to fruits, stems and trunks.
TitleSymptoms on fruit
CaptionIn high-density infestations C. aonidium may spread to fruits, stems and trunks.
CopyrightClive Lau
In high-density infestations C. aonidium may spread to fruits, stems and trunks.
Symptoms on fruitIn high-density infestations C. aonidium may spread to fruits, stems and trunks.Clive Lau

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Chrysomphalus aonidum (Linnaeus, 1758)

Preferred Common Name

  • circular scale

Other Scientific Names

  • Aonidiella ficorum Ashmead
  • Aspidiotus (Chrysomphalus) aonidum (Linnaeus) Hempel, 1900
  • Aspidiotus (Chrysomphalus) ficus (Ashmead) Berlese, 1896
  • Aspidiotus aonidum (Linnaeus) Cockerell, 1905
  • Aspidiotus ficorum Ashmead
  • Aspidiotus ficus (Ashmead) Comstock, 1881
  • Chrysomphalus ficus Ashmead, 1880
  • Coccus aonidum Linnaeus, 1758

International Common Names

  • English: black scale; circular black scale; circular purple scale; citrus black scale; Egyptian black scale; fig scale; Florida red scale; purple scale; red spotted scale
  • Spanish: cochinilla circular negra; cochinilla redonda obscura; escama negra del naranjo (Chile); escama roja de Florida; queresa redonda marron
  • French: chermes de la Floride; pou de Floride; pou rouge de Floride
  • Portuguese: cabeca de prego; escama prego

Local Common Names

  • Brazil: escama cabeca de prego
  • China: orange brown scale
  • Germany: Schildlaus, Rote Florida-; Schildlaus, Schwarze Teller-
  • Israel: haknima hashchora
  • Italy: Cocciniglia di Florida
  • South Africa: ronde persdopluis
  • Suriname: rode citrusschildluis
  • Turkey: kirmizi kosnil

EPPO code

  • CHRYFI (Chrysomphalus aonidum)

Taxonomic Tree

Top of page
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Hemiptera
  •                         Suborder: Sternorrhyncha
  •                             Unknown: Coccoidea
  •                                 Family: Diaspididae
  •                                     Genus: Chrysomphalus
  •                                         Species: Chrysomphalus aonidum

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page Apart from a single synonymy, and various changes in generic assignment associated with revision of diaspidid taxonomy, the identity of C. aonidum has never been in doubt.

Description

Top of page Adult and intermediate-stage females form flat to moderately convex, circular scales up to 2 mm in diameter, each with a slightly raised, sub-central point which is sometimes pale. If the scale is lifted off with the point of a needle, the insect beneath is yellow and up to 1.7 mm long. Male scales are slightly paler than female scales, and are elongate-oval and half the size. The adult male is 0.7 mm long and has a single pair of wings, two pairs of simple eyes, no mouthparts and very long genitalia. First-instar nymphs are 0.3 mm long and have legs but soon settle to form circular white scales (the whitecap stage) up to 0.4 mm across. These become incorporated into the scales of subsequent stages, forming the paler subcentral point.

Distribution

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C. aonidum is a tropical species, apparently native to the Oriental region (Gill, 1997) but it has been dispersed widely in tropical and subtropical parts of the world, mostly in association with the citrus industry. In northern countries in its range, this species occurs under glass. In 1997, there were no known infestations in California, USA (Gill, 1997). The species has been intercepted in quarantine inspections in Oman and the Netherlands. It was found in Zanzibar in 1915 and has also been found in the UK (CP Malumphy, Central Science Laboratory, UK, personal communication, 1996).

In March 2004, C. aonidum was identified from glasshouses associated with the Auckland Domain Gardens. A joint MAF and Auckland City Council containment programme is believed to have successfully eradicated this scale; monitoring is continuing. C. aonidum has not been detected alive in unprotected environments in New Zealand (Biosecurity New Zealand, 2006).

A record of C. aonidum in Singapore (CIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014) published in previous versions of the Compendium was based on an old record which is now considered unreliable.

The distribution map includes records from the collection held at the Natural History Museum, UK, cited as (NHM, date of collection).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

BhutanPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
British Indian Ocean TerritoryPresentCIE, 1988
ChinaWidespreadEPPO, 2014
-FujianPresentCIE, 1988; Tao, 1999; EPPO, 2014
-GuangdongPresentCIE, 1988; Tao, 1999; EPPO, 2014
-GuangxiPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
-GuizhouPresentTao, 1999
-HainanPresentCIE, 1988; Tao, 1999; EPPO, 2014
-HebeiPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
-Hong KongPresentCIE, 1988; Tao, 1999; EPPO, 2014
-HubeiPresentLiu et al., 2002
-HunanPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
-JiangsuPresentCIE, 1988; Tao, 1999; EPPO, 2014
-JiangxiPresentCIE, 1988; Tao, 1999; EPPO, 2014
-Nei MengguPresentTao, 1999
-ShandongPresentCIE, 1988; Tao, 1999; EPPO, 2014
-SichuanPresentCIE, 1988; Tao, 1999; EPPO, 2014
-YunnanPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
-ZhejiangPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
IndiaPresentEPPO, 2014; Kore and Thite, 2014
-Andhra PradeshPresentDhileepan, 1991
-AssamPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
-GujaratPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
-KarnatakaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
-KeralaPresentDhileepan, 1991
-Madhya PradeshPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
-MaharashtraPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
-Tamil NaduPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
-TripuraPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
-West BengalPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
IndonesiaPresentEPPO, 2014
-JavaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
-SulawesiPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
-SumatraPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
IsraelWidespreadCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
JapanPresentKawai, 1980; Tao, 1999; EPPO, 2014
-Bonin IslandPresentBeardsley, 1966; CIE, 1988
-HonshuPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
-KyushuPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
-Ryukyu ArchipelagoPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
-ShikokuPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
JordanPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
Korea, DPRPresentCIE, 1988
Korea, Republic ofPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
LebanonPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
MalaysiaPresentEPPO, 2014
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
-SabahPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
MyanmarPresentCIE, 1988; Waterhouse, 1993; EPPO, 2014
OmanPresentEPPO, 2014
PakistanPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
PhilippinesPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
Saudi ArabiaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
SingaporeAbsent, unreliable record, ; CIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
Sri LankaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
SyriaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
TaiwanPresentCIE, 1988; Wong et al., 1999; EPPO, 2014
ThailandPresentWaterhouse, 1993
TurkeyPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
VietnamPresentWaterhouse, 1993
YemenPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014

Africa

AlgeriaPresentCIE, 1988; Danzig and Pellizzari, 1998; EPPO, 2014
BurundiPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
ComorosPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
EgyptPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
EthiopiaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
GuineaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
KenyaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
MadagascarPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
MalawiPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
MauritiusPresentCIE, 1988; Williams and Williams, 1988; EPPO, 2014
MoroccoPresentCIE, 1988; Danzig and Pellizzari, 1998; EPPO, 2014
MozambiquePresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
NigeriaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
RéunionPresentCIE, 1988; Williams and Williams, 1988; EPPO, 2014
SenegalPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
SeychellesPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
South AfricaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
Spain
-Canary IslandsPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
SudanPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
TanzaniaPresentBohlen, 1973; CIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
-ZanzibarPresentCIE, 1988
TunisiaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
UgandaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
ZambiaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
ZimbabwePresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014

North America

BermudaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
MexicoPresentCIE, 1988; Miller, 1996; EPPO, 2014
USARestricted distributionEPPO, 2014
-CaliforniaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
-District of ColumbiaPresentEPPO, 2014
-FloridaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
-HawaiiPresentCIE, 1988; Heu, 2002; EPPO, 2014
-MarylandPresentCIE, 1988
-MississippiPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
-TexasPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
-VirginiaPresentCIE, 1988

Central America and Caribbean

BarbadosPresentBennett and Alam, 1985; CIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
Cayman IslandsPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
Costa RicaPresent
CubaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
DominicaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
Dominican RepublicPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
El SalvadorPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
GuadeloupePresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
GuatemalaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
HaitiPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
HondurasPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
JamaicaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
MartiniquePresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
MontserratPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
PanamaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
Puerto RicoPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
Saint LuciaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
Trinidad and TobagoPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
United States Virgin IslandsPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014

South America

ArgentinaPresentCIE, 1988; Claps et al., 2001; EPPO, 2014
BrazilPresentEPPO, 2014
-AcrePresentCIE, 1988
-AmazonasPresentCIE, 1988; Claps et al., 2001; EPPO, 2014
-BahiaPresentCIE, 1988; Claps et al., 2001; EPPO, 2014
-MaranhaoPresentCIE, 1988; Claps et al., 2001; EPPO, 2014
-Mato GrossoPresentCIE, 1988; Claps et al., 2001; EPPO, 2014
-Minas GeraisPresentCIE, 1988; Claps et al., 2001; EPPO, 2014
-ParaPresentCIE, 1988; Claps et al., 2001; EPPO, 2014
-ParaibaPresentCIE, 1988; Claps et al., 2001; EPPO, 2014
-ParanaPresentCIE, 1988; Claps et al., 2001; EPPO, 2014
-PernambucoPresentCIE, 1988; Claps et al., 2001; EPPO, 2014
-Rio de JaneiroPresentCIE, 1988; Claps et al., 2001; EPPO, 2014
-Rio Grande do NortePresentCIE, 1988; Claps et al., 2001; EPPO, 2014
-Rio Grande do SulPresentCIE, 1988; Claps et al., 2001; EPPO, 2014
-Santa CatarinaPresentCIE, 1988; Claps et al., 2001; EPPO, 2014
-Sao PauloPresentCIE, 1988; Watanabe et al., 2000; Claps et al., 2001; EPPO, 2014
ChilePresentCIE, 1988; Claps et al., 2001; EPPO, 2014
-Easter IslandPresentCharlin, 1973
ColombiaPresentCIE, 1988; Kondo, 2001; EPPO, 2014
French GuianaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
GuyanaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
ParaguayPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
SurinamePresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
UruguayPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
VenezuelaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014

Europe

BelgiumPresentDanzig and Pellizzari, 1998
CroatiaPresentEPPO, 2014
CyprusPresentCIE, 1988; Tao, 1999; Wong et al., 1999; EPPO, 2014
Czech RepublicPresentHlavjenková and Sefrová, 2012
FrancePresentFoldi, 2001; EPPO, 2014
GermanyPresentDanzig and Pellizzari, 1998
GreecePresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
HungaryPresent, few occurrencesEPPO, 2014
ItalyPresent, few occurrencesLongo et al., 1995; Danzig and Pellizzari, 1998; Pellizzari and Vacante, 2007; EPPO, 2014
MaltaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
NetherlandsPresentDanzig and Pellizzari, 1998; EPPO, 2014
PolandPresent only under cover/indoors<L>abanowski and Soika, 2002; EPPO, 2014
PortugalRestricted distributionEPPO, 2014
-MadeiraPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
RomaniaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
SpainPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
-Balearic IslandsPresentEPPO, 2014
Yugoslavia (former)PresentCIE, 1988

Oceania

American SamoaPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
AustraliaRestricted distributionTao, 1999; EPPO, 2014
-Australian Northern TerritoryPresentCIE, 1988; CSIRO, 2001; EPPO, 2014
-New South WalesPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
-QueenslandPresentCIE, 1988; CSIRO, 2001; EPPO, 2014
-TasmaniaPresentCSIRO, 2001
Cook IslandsPresentMaddison, 1976
FijiPresentCIE, 1988; Williams and Watson, 1988; EPPO, 2014
French PolynesiaRestricted distributionCohic, 1955; CIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014
KiribatiPresentCIE, 1988; Williams and Watson, 1988; EPPO, 2014
Micronesia, Federated states ofPresentEPPO, 2014
New CaledoniaPresentCIE, 1988; Williams and Watson, 1988; EPPO, 2014
New ZealandEradicatedIntroducedGill, 2005; Biosecurity New Zealand, 2006
NiuePresentMaddison, 1976
Papua New GuineaPresentCIE, 1988; Williams and Watson, 1988; EPPO, 2014
SamoaPresentCIE, 1988; Williams and Watson, 1988; EPPO, 2014
Solomon IslandsPresentWilliams and Watson, 1988
TuvaluPresentCIE, 1988; EPPO, 2014

Risk of Introduction

Top of page C. aonidum is already fairly widespread, particularly in citrus-growing regions of the world. As global warming progresses, its distribution is likely to extend north- and southwards with the increase of citrus-producing areas. Countries with new or developing citrus industries just outside the currently known distribution of C. aonidum (CIE, 1988) will need to be vigilant to exclude the scale if possible. The scale may also become a problem on ornamental plants in these countries, and could become a pest of ornamentals under glass in temperate countries, as it has done in Hungary (Reiderné and Kozár, 1994). It is mentioned on quarantine lists (Burger and Ulenburg, 1990).

Hosts/Species Affected

Top of page C. aonidum is a polyphagous species with a preference for citrus, particularly navel and Valencia oranges and grapefruits (Bedford, 1989). It has been recorded from hosts in 77 plant families, including crops, ornamentals, palms and forestry trees (Borchsenius, 1966).

In the laboratory, C. aonidum can be mass-reared for biological control purposes on Citrullus spp. (melons or watermelons) (Bedford, 1989) or on potato tubers or pumpkins (Li and Liao, 1990). In tests, Ceballos and Hernandez (1986) found mass-rearing most successful on Cucurbita pepo.

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Asparagus officinalis (asparagus)LiliaceaeOther
Camellia sinensis (tea)TheaceaeOther
Carica papaya (pawpaw)CaricaceaeOther
Cinnamomum verum (cinnamon)LauraceaeOther
CitrusRutaceaeMain
Citrus aurantiifolia (lime)RutaceaeMain
Citrus limon (lemon)RutaceaeMain
Citrus maxima (pummelo)RutaceaeMain
Citrus reticulata (mandarin)RutaceaeOther
Citrus sinensis (navel orange)RutaceaeMain
Citrus x paradisi (grapefruit)RutaceaeMain
Cocos nucifera (coconut)ArecaceaeOther
DracaenaAgavaceaeOther
Dracaena reflexaAgavaceaeOther
Gossypium (cotton)MalvaceaeOther
LauraceaeLauraceaeOther
Malus domestica (apple)RosaceaeOther
Mangifera indica (mango)AnacardiaceaeOther
Musa (banana)MusaceaeOther
Musa x paradisiaca (plantain)MusaceaeOther
Phoenix dactylifera (date-palm)ArecaceaeOther
Pinus (pines)PinaceaeOther
Yucca decipiensAgavaceaeOther

Growth Stages

Top of page Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Post-harvest, Vegetative growing stage

Symptoms

Top of page C. aonidum is a leaf-infesting species, but in high-density infestations it may spread to fruits, stems and trunks, and may cause premature leaf and fruit drop and stem dieback. The scales appear as circular dark spots.

An infestation appears as dark-purple to reddish-brown or black spots with paler margins, on both surfaces of shaded leaves of the host plant. Heavy infestations cause yellowing of the leaves, followed by defoliation of part or all of the host. C. aonidum prefers shade and is therefore most common in the lower part of the canopy.

List of Symptoms/Signs

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Fruit

  • discoloration
  • external feeding
  • lesions: black or brown
  • premature drop

Leaves

  • abnormal colours
  • abnormal leaf fall
  • honeydew or sooty mould
  • necrotic areas

Stems

  • dieback
  • external feeding

Biology and Ecology

Top of page Reproduction in C. aonidum is sexual; no evidence of parthenogenesis has been recorded. The sex ratio in C. aonidum has been found to be biased in favour of females (Nur, 1990). Each adult female lays about 50-150 oval eggs under the scale over a period of 1-8 weeks, depending on the part of the plant infested (those on the leaves being less fecund than those infesting fruits) (Rose and DeBach, 1978). Eggs hatch under the scale and the first-instar nymphs or crawlers walk about to find a suitable feeding site before settling to a sessile lifestyle. The second-instar nymphs are the main feeding stage in both sexes. Development to adult takes 7-16 weeks according to temperature. In California, USA, C. aonidum has up to six generations per year (Gill, 1997). In countries with a cold winter, such as Taiwan, there may be three distinct generations per year (Su, 1983), while in tropical conditions (and heated greenhouses) breeding is continuous and generations are asynchronous.

C. aonidum has a preference for humid environments and cannot tolerate freezing temperatures. It tends to prefer the lower and central parts of mature citrus trees and rarely infests green wood (Rose and DeBach, 1978). Male stages are rather more tolerant of lower humidity than females, so male scales are more often found on the upper surface of the leaf while females congregate on lower leaf surfaces (Bedford, 1989). Like other diaspidid scale insects, C. aonidum suffers increased mortality in heavy rain and reaches high population levels during dry weather.

The first-instar stage is the sole dispersal stage. Each crawler walks to an exposed position on the plant, from which air currents may carry it as much as several tens of kilometres away (Greathead, 1990). Passing animals or people can also can carry the crawlers over great distances. Movement of infested planting material or produce is the main way in which C. aonidum has been introduced to other countries.

This species has 2n=8 chromosomes (Nur, 1990).

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Agistemus exsertus Predator Adults/Nymphs
Aphytis chrysomphali Parasite Adults/Eggs/Larvae/Nymphs/Pupae
Aphytis columbi Parasite Adults/Nymphs
Aphytis holoxanthus Parasite Adults/Nymphs Argentina; Australia; Australia; Queensland; Brazil; Egypt; Hawaii; Israel; Lebanon; Mexico; Peru; South Africa; Texas Citrus
Aphytis lepidosaphes Parasite
Aphytis lingnanensis Parasite Nymphs
Aphytis philippinensis Parasite
Aphytis pinnaspidis Parasite
Aprostocetus purpureus Parasite India Michelia champaca
Arrhenophagus chionaspidis Parasite
Beauveria bassiana Pathogen
Cardiastethus nazarenus Predator Adults/Nymphs
Cheletogenes ornatus Predator Adults/Nymphs
Chilocorus circumdatus Predator Adults/Eggs/Larvae/Nymphs/Pupae
Chilocorus distigma Predator
Chilocorus kuwanae Predator Adults/Nymphs
Chilocorus nigrita Predator Adults/Nymphs
Chilocorus nigritus Predator Adults/Eggs/Larvae/Nymphs/Pupae
Chilocorus renipustulatus Predator Adults/Eggs/Larvae/Nymphs/Pupae
Comperiella bifasciata Parasite Nymphs Egypt; Israel; Philippines; South Africa Citrus; Cocos nucifera; Ficus carica
Comperiella pia Parasite Nymphs
Cryptognatha nodiceps Predator Adults/Nymphs Philippines Cocos nucifera
Cycloneda sanguinea Predator Adults/Nymphs
Encarsia amicula Parasite
Encarsia aurantii Parasite
Encarsia citrina Parasite Nymphs
Encarsia elongata Parasite
Encarsia herndoni Parasite Adults/Nymphs
Encarsia lounsburyi Parasite Adults/Nymphs
Euseius gossipi Predator Adults/Nymphs
Habrolepis pascuorum Parasite
Metaphycus helvolus Parasite
Mycosphaerella tassiana Pathogen
Nectria flammea Pathogen
Pharoscymnus horni Predator Adults/Eggs/Larvae/Nymphs/Pupae
Podonectria coccicola Pathogen
Pseudhomalopoda elongata Parasite Nymphs
Pseudhomalopoda prima Parasite Nymphs
Pseudoazya trinitatis Predator Adults/Nymphs Philippines Cocos nucifera
Pteroptrix chinensis Parasite Adults/Nymphs Hawaii
Pteroptrix smithi Parasite Nymphs Israel; Mexico Citrus
Rhyzobius lophanthae Predator Adults/Eggs/Larvae/Nymphs/Pupae Philippines Cocos nucifera
Rhyzobius pulchellus Predator Adults/Nymphs
Scymnus interruptus Predator Adults/Nymphs
Scymnus severini Predator Adults/Nymphs
Signiphora flavopalliata Parasite
Sukunahikona popei Predator Adults/Nymphs
Telsimia nitida gemmosa Predator Adults/Nymphs

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page Two parasite species, Aphytis holoxanthus and Pteroptrix smithi, are the main biological control agents used against C. aonidum. These were introduced to Israel from Hong Kong in 1956-57 and both established. A. holoxanthus is a very efficient parasite (Steinberg et al., 1987) and quickly brought populations of C. aonidum under control, but subsequently P. smithi has become dominant in the coastal strip, possibly because A. holoxanthus populations fall in autumn and winter in these areas whereas P. smithi populations remain high throughout the year (Steinberg et al., 1986).

The endemic coccinellid Chilocorus bipustulatus was recorded as a useful predator on C. aonidum and other scale insects in citrus groves in Israel by Podoler and Henen (1986).

A. holoxanthus was introduced from Israel to Cyprus and Texas in 1959, to California in 1960 and to Queensland, Australia in 1974, where it displaced the native parasitoid, Aphytis columbi (Smith, 1978). From California, it was introduced to Florida in 1960, Brazil in 1962, Egypt in 1963 and Lebanon in 1965, but the success of the last three introductions is not known (Rosen and DeBach, 1978).

In Taiwan, A. holoxanthus has given up to 57% parasitism and has maintained C. aonidum populations below economic levels (Lin and Tao, 1974).

In South Africa, A. holoxanthus has proved highly effective against C. aonidum on citrus, sometimes giving parasitism levels as high as 90-100% (Bedford, 1989). It is used as part of an integrated pest management programme and has reduced the cost of pesticides to the industry by at least 50%; C. aonidum is now rare in South African orchards.

Comperiella bifasciata was introduced to South Africa accidentally and was mass-reared and released, but could not compete with A. holoxanthus and apparently died out (Bedford, 1989). The coccinellid, Rhyzobius lophanthae, is recorded as a useful predator of C. aonidum in South Africa (Bedford, 1989).

In Texas, C. aonidum used to be controlled by the parasites Pseudhomalopoda elongata and P. prima, but these died out in the winter of 1951 and had to be re-introduced from Florida in 1955 when scale populations escalated. However, control by these parasites was inadequate and led to the introduction of A. holoxanthus from Israel in 1959 (Rosen and DeBach, 1978).

The main hymenopteran parasitoid attacking C. aonidum in Suriname is Aphytis chrysomphali (Brussel and Bhola, 1970). Signophora fax is a primary or secondary parasitoid of C. aonidum in Argentina (Teran et al., 1985).

In India, A. chrysomphali, has been recorded attacking C. aonidum (Das, 1988). The most effective predators of C. aonidum on tea in India are the coccinellids Chilocorus circumdatus (Das et al., 1988) and Pharoscymnus horni in Assam (Das and Gope, 1984). The coccinellid Sukunahikona popei was described as a predator of C. aonidum on coconut palms in Gujarat by Vazirani (1982). A parasitic fungus, Podonectria coccicola, has also been recorded killing C. aonidum in Coorg District, India (Rao, 1979).

Aspidiotiphagus lounsburyi [Encarsia lounsburyi] was recorded attacking C. aonidum in Cuba by Ceballos et al. (1988).

Damaging outbreaks of diaspidid scales, including C. aonidum in the Seychelles in the 1930s, were controlled by introduction of the coccinellid Chilocorus distigma from East Africa in 1936 and C. nigritus from Coimbatore, India in 1938 (Veysey-Fitzgerald, 1941, 1953).

In the Philippines, two species of the coccinellid genus Pseudoscymnus and a species of Telsimia are reported as feeding on C. aonidum by Palacio et al. (1984).

In China, the parasitic fungi Fusarium coccophilum [Nectria flammea], Beauvaria bassiana, Podonectria coccicola and Verticillium sp. were recorded killing C. aonidum in Fujian Province (Gao and Ouyang, 1981).

Impact

Top of page The most important crop damaged by C. aonidum is citrus: damage has been recorded in the USA (Florida, Texas), Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Central America, Trinidad, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Italy and North Africa, Lebanon, Egypt, Israel, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Australia and China (Rose and DeBach, 1978; Rose, 1990) and Western Samoa (Maddison, 1976). According to Bedford (1989), in unsprayed citrus orchards in South Africa C. aonidum used to cause almost complete defoliation of individual trees, which would produce hardly any crop the following season. Heavy infestation of fruits resulted in up to 100% culling at the packhouse. Expenditure on insecticide sprays to control the scale was high until the introduction of effective biological control of C. aonidum reduced infestation by over 50%. Heavy infestation of citrus foliage in New Caledonia resulted in death of trees (Cohic, 1950). In 1976, it was estimated that C. aonidum caused an annual loss on citrus in Texas of US$3.85 million (Kosztarab, 1990).

C. aonidum is a pest of olive in Israel and Turkey (Argyriou, 1990). Danzig and Pellizzari (1998) refer to the species as a dangerous pest in the Palaearctic region. In Poland, it causes serious damage to ornamental plants in glasshouses (Labanowsky, 1999). It has been recorded severely damaging pine seedlings in Papua New Guinea (Szent-Ivany and Stevens, 1966), and causes problems on several economically important hosts in Brazil (Claps et al., 2001). Foldi (2001) listed it as an occasional pest in France. C. aonidum has been recorded causing serious damage to young tea in India (Das, 1974); as a serious pest of bananas in the Caribbean and Central America (Rose and DeBach, 1978) and as an occasional pest of bananas in Israel, where heavy infestations developed in high temperatures and made the fruit unmarketable (Chua and Wood, 1990). It is a problem on coconuts in the Philippines (Rose and DeBach, 1978) and was a serious pest of coconut in the Seychelles in the 1930s, causing yellow patches on infested pinnae and death of whole leaves, leading to reductions in yield in severe outbreaks (Vesey-Fitzgerald, 1940).

Diagnosis

Top of page Authoritative identification requires skilful preparation of slide mounts of adult females for microscopic examination by a specialist.

For authoritative identification, slide-mounted adult female specimens should be examined under a compound light microscope. Diagnostic characteristics of the adult female are that the paraphyses are only associated with the lobes and are all longer than median lobes. The prosoma are entirely membraneous. A submarginal prepygidial macroduct cluster is present on either side of the second abdominal segment only. The metathorax has an elongate, pointed marginal spur present on either side. A redescription of C. aonidum (as C. ficus) is provided by Ferris (1938).

Detection and Inspection

Top of page Examine plants closely for dark spots on the leaves, especially in shady parts of the plant. Good light conditions are essential and in poor light, a powerful flashlight is helpful. A large hand lens may assist in recognition of small, immature stages.

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

Top of page First-instar nymphs of C. aonidum are difficult to distinguish from some other species of diaspidid scale found on citrus.

On palms, C. aonidum could be confused with Hemiberlesia palmae in life, but these species are quite distinct when slide-mounted. On ornamental plants, a non-specialist could confuse C. aonidum in life with C. bifaciculatus or species of Lindingaspis and Melanaspis, but the slide-mounted females are quite distinct.

Prevention and Control

Top of page Regulatory Control

Pre-export inspection should be sufficient. Leaves, particularly lower surfaces, and fruits should be examined.

Chemical Control

Numerous citrus-producing countries, such as Israel and South Africa, have controlled C. aonidum and other scale insect pests of citrus with insecticides (particularly organophosphates). However, the long-term use of pesticides is expensive, can be environmentally damaging and leads to outbreaks of other pests due to elimination of their natural controls and development of pesticide resistance in the scales.

Biological Control

The development of effective biological controls has greatly reduced the importance of C. aonidum in many citrus-producing countries, such as Israel, Mexico and Australia. In South Africa, expenditure on insecticide sprays to control the scale on citrus was high until the introduction of effective biological control of C. aonidum reduced it by over 50% (Bedford, 1989).

Two parasite species, Aphytis holoxanthus and Pteroptrix smithi, are the main biological control agents used against C. aonidum. These were introduced to Israel from Hong Kong in 1956-57 and both established. A. holoxanthus is a very efficient parasite (Steinberg et al., 1987) and quickly brought populations of C. aonidum under control, but subsequently P. smithi has become dominant in the coastal strip, possibly because A. holoxanthus populations fall in autumn and winter in these areas whereas P. smithi populations remain high throughout the year (Steinberg et al., 1986).

A. holoxanthus was introduced from Israel to Cyprus and Texas in 1959, to California in 1960 and to Queensland, Australia in 1974, where it displaced the native parasitoid, Aphytis columbi (Smith, 1978). From California, it was introduced to Florida in 1960, to Brazil in 1962, to Egypt in 1963 and to Lebanon in 1965, but the success of the last three introductions is not known (Rosen and DeBach, 1978).

Comperiella bifasciata was introduced to South Africa accidentally and was mass-reared and released, but could not compete with A. holoxanthus and apparently died out (Bedford, 1989). The coccinellid, Rhyzobius lophanthae, is recorded as a useful predator of C. aonidum in South Africa (Bedford, 1989).

In Texas, C. aonidum used to be controlled by the parasites Pseudhomalopoda elongata and P. prima, but these died out in the winter of 1951 and had to be re-introduced from Florida in 1955 when scale populations escalated. However, control by these parasites was inadequate and led to the introduction of A. holoxanthus from Israel in 1959 (Rosen and DeBach, 1978).

Damaging outbreaks of diaspidid scales, including C. aonidum in the Seychelles in the 1930s, were controlled by introduction of the coccinellid Chilocorus distigma from East Africa in 1936 and C. nigritus from Coimbatore, India in 1938 (Veysey-Fitzgerald, 1941, 1953).

In the laboratory, C. aonidum can be mass-reared for biological control purposes on Citrullus spp. (melons or watermelons) (Bedford 1989) or on potato tubers or pumpkins (Li and Liao, 1990). In tests, Ceballos and Hernandez (1986) found mass-rearing most successful on Cucurbita pepo.

IPM Programmes

Since the successful introduction of biological control against C. aonidum in Israel, effective integrated pest management programmes have been developed in Israel (Steinberg et al., 1986, 1987) and South Africa (Bedford, 1989).

In South Africa, Aphytis holoxanthus has proved highly effective against C. aonidum on citrus, sometimes giving parasitism levels as high as 90-100% (Bedford, 1989). It is used as part of an integrated pest management programme and has reduced the cost of pesticides to the industry by at least 50%; C. aonidum is now rare in South African orchards.

References

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