The Black Parlatoria scale, Parlatoria ziziphi (Lucas, 1853) (Hemiptera: Coccomorpha: Diaspididae): a guide to field identification.
Pest control is easier and more effective when pests are correctly identified. The Black Parlatoria Scale, Parlatoria ziziphi (Lucas, 1853) (Hemiptera: Coccomorpha: Diaspididae) is an important invasive pest in citrus-growing countries. This diaspidid has historically been difficult to control, because its immature stages are difficult to identify due to confusion with similar Parlatoria species. No field descriptions of female or male developmental stages are available for P. ziziphi. We provide the first description of field characteristics of the developmental stages of P. ziziphi. Colonies were reared in the laboratory on sour orange plants and lemon fruits to illustrate the distinctive features of each instar. An illustrated field guide of all life-cycle stages of male and female P. ziziphi is provided for correct species identification and better pest management. This tool is designed to help recognize P. ziziphi in field-scouting programmes or quarantine inspections, without the need for taxonomic expertise in identifying the Parlatoria group.