Feeding preference of crapemyrtle bark scale (Acanthococcus lagerstroemiae) on different species.
Crapemyrtle bark scale (CMBS; Acanthococcus lagerstroemiae) is an exotic pest species that causes aesthetic and economic damage to crapemyrtles and poses potential threats to other horticultural crops in the United States. Although previous studies reported the infestation of CMBS on several alternative hosts across multiple families in Asia, its potential threats to other documented alternative hosts remain elusive and yet to be confirmed. In this study, feeding preference studies of CMBS were conducted on forty-nine plant species and cultivars in 2016 and 2019, in order to gain insight into the expansion of CMBS distribution in the United States, as well as other regions of the world. The infestations of CMBS were confirmed on apple (Malus domestica), Chaenomeles speciosa, Disopyros rhombifolia, Heimia salicifolia, Lagerstroemia 'Spiced Plum', M. angustifolia, and twelve out of thirty-five pomegranate cultivars. However, the levels of CMBS infestation on these test plant hosts in this study is very low compared to Lagerstroemia, and may not cause significant damage. No sign of CMBS infestation was observed on Rubus 'Arapaho', R. 'Navaho', R. idaeus 'Dorman Red', R. fruticosus, B. microphylla var. koreana × B. sempervirens, B. harlandii, or D. virginiana.