Variation in length, fecundity and survival of pink wax scale, Ceroplastes rubens Maskell (Hemiptera: Coccidae), on umbrella trees.
Factors that may lead to outbreaks of pink wax scale, Ceroplastes rubens, on umbrella trees, Schefflera actinophylla, were studied. Estimates of birth and death rates of C. rubens were high and variable within and among trees; variation in these rates was not related to pest density. Adult fecundity correlated significantly but weakly with adult test length; mean fecundity was 292 eggs per female with a range of 5-1178. Adult test length and its variance decreased weakly with increasing density. Field experiments conducted in Queensland showed that mortality of C. rubens is greatest during the first 24 hours after hatching when approximately 50% are lost. The rate of loss decreases over time with 0.3% of initial motile first-instar nymphs surviving to maturity. Rates of loss varied significantly between trees, indicating that some trees are more suitable for colonisation and survival.