Pomegranate: a new host for the invasive scale insect Lopholeucaspis japonica (Cockerell, 1897) (Hemiptera: Diaspididae) from Gujarat, India.
Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) is recorded as a new host of Lopholeucaspis japonica globally. It was found infesting pomegranate crop in Nakhatrana village, Kutch district of Gujarat, India. In the present study, the incidence of pest was observed during March 2016, on a single pomegranate plant. In a span of 9-10 months, the scale insect has spread to 58 five-year-old plants causing yellowing of leaves, stunted plant growth and poor fruit set. White specks of the scale will completely cover the stem, branches and twigs with colonies containing male, female and its immature stages. Averages length and width of slide mounted adult female is measured from 1.3 to 1.5 and 0.55 to 0.65 mm, respectively. L. japonica has the taxonomic identification characters like microducts ranging from 32 to 46 on each side of the pygidium and it lacks a sclerotised spine lateral of each antenna. Cage studies indicated that the scale has the two generations each year. Detailed live and mounted characters are provided in order to facilitate the proper identification of L. japonica and information on its host range, distribution and natural enemies is also furnished. Special restrictions on its spread and eradication are needed to avoid its further spread.