Chrysomphalus dictyospermi (dictyospermum scale)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- History of Introduction and Spread
- Risk of Introduction
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Growth Stages
- List of Symptoms/Signs
- Biology and Ecology
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Plant Trade
- Wood Packaging
- Detection and Inspection
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Chrysomphalus dictyospermi (Morgan, 1889)
Preferred Common Name
- dictyospermum scale
Other Scientific Names
- Aspidiotus (Chrysomphalus) dictyospermi (Morgan) Cockerell, 1897
- Aspidiotus agrumicula De Gregorio, 1915
- Aspidiotus arecae (Newstead) Cockerell, 1894
- Aspidiotus dictyospermi Morgan, 1889
- Aspidiotus dictyospermi jamaicensis Cockerell, 1894
- Aspidiotus dictyospermi var. arecae Newstead, 1893
- Aspidiotus jamaicensis (Cockerell) Ferris, 1941
- Aspidiotus mangiferae Cockerell, 1893
- Chrisomphalus dictyospermi Yasnosh, 1995
- Chrysomphalus arecae (Newstead) Malenotti, 1916
- Chrysomphalus castigatus Mamet, 1936
- Chrysomphalus dictyospermatis Lindinger, 1949
- Chrysomphalus jamaicensis (Cockerell) Malenotti, 1917
- Chrysomphalus jamaucebsis Chou, 1895
- Chrysomphalus mangiferae (Cockerell) Leonardi, 1899
- Chrysomphalus minor Berlese, 1896
International Common Names
- English: dictyosperm scale; Morgan's scale; palm scale; red scale, Spanish; red scale, western; Spanish red scale; western red scale
- Spanish: cochinilla roja de los cítricos; cochinilla roja de los citrus; conchuela anaranjada; escama roja; piojo rojo; piojo rojo de naranjo
- French: chermes de l'oranger; pou rouge; pou rouge des aurantiacees; pou rouge des orangers
- Portuguese: cabeca de prego rosa; pinta-amarela
Local Common Names
- Chile: escama anaranjada
- Germany: Schildlaus, Rote Mittelmeer-; Schildlaus, Rote Teller-
- Italy: bianca rossa degli agrumi; bianca-rossa; cocciniglia rosso; pidocchio rosso
- Mexico: escama dictiosperma
- Netherlands: poll-roig
- Russian Federation: korichnevaya shitovka
- South Africa: pinnula dopluis; spaanse rooidopluis
- Turkey: palmiye sari kosnili; turunçgil kabuklu biti
- CHRYDI (Chrysomphalus dictyospermi)
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page The main infective stage of C. dictyospermi is the first-instar crawler, which is quite short-lived in the absence of a suitable feeding site. Within the orchard, infestation spreads outwards from infested trees, especially down wind, if the planting is not sufficiently widely spaced. However, without human or animal assistance, the capacity of this species to spread over longer distances is limited.
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Metazoa
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Subphylum: Uniramia
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Hemiptera
- Suborder: Sternorrhyncha
- Unknown: Coccoidea
- Family: Diaspididae
- Genus: Chrysomphalus
- Species: Chrysomphalus dictyospermi
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page This species has been described under several species names (see 'Names' section in this datasheet). It was placed in combination with the generic names Aspidiotus and Aspidiotus (subgenus Chrysomphalus) before being assigned to the genus Chrysomphalus.
DescriptionTop of page In life, the scale cover of the adult female is rather thin, nearly circular, but sometimes irregular in outline; flat; 1.5-2.0 mm diameter; greyish or reddish-brown, often with a coppery tinge; with a distinctly raised ring in the centre; and exuviae more or less central, yellow or white. The scale cover can be easily removed using a finger nail or forceps to reveal the soft, yellow body of the living female beneath (Gill, 1997). Gill (1997) and Watson (2002) provided colour photographs of the adult female's scale cover.
The body of a slide-mounted adult female is membranous and pyriform (never reniform); front of head rounded; and prepygidial segments each with fewer than five submarginal ducts present on each side (these never forming clusters). Pygidium broad, subtended by an angle greater than 90°, with three pairs of rounded lobes that are oblique and point posterio-medially; the fourth pair are each represented by an acute point. Plates between the first three pairs of lobes are fringed, but between the third and fourth lobes they are clavate with serrate edges. Perivulvar pores present; paraphyses present only between the third lobes, each paraphysis longer than a median lobe; second poriferous furrow (between segments VI and VII) on each side containing up to ten macroducts in a single row, except for an occasional duct out of line.
The male scale cover is similar to that of the female, but elongate oval with subterminal exuviae. The adult male possesses one pair of wings with simplified venation, well-developed legs and antennae and long genitalia, but lacks mouthparts or any distinct 'neck'.
DistributionTop of page C. dictyospermi is probably native to southern China (Longo et al., 1995); it is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, and occurs under glass in temperate areas (Davidson and Miller, 1990; Gill, 1997). It is distributed predominantly in Mediterranean countries such as Turkey and Syria, and in Middle Eastern countries such as Iran (Lodos, 1982). In Turkey, it is more common in the Aegean region than in the Black Sea and Mediterranean regions (Alkan, 1953). It has a wide distribution in the South Pacific area, and plant quarantine interceptions from the region suggest that it has an even wider distribution there than has been documented (Williams and Watson, 1988). In spite of the record published in Danzig and Pellizzari (1998), C. dictyospermi has not been recorded in the UK in recent years and is regarded as absent (CP Malumphy, Central Science Laboratory, UK, personal communication, 2002).
The distribution map includes records based on specimens of C. dictyospermi from the collection in the Natural History Museum (London, UK): dates of collection are noted in the List of countries (NHM, various dates).
Distribution TableTop of page
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.
History of Introduction and SpreadTop of page C. dictyospermi was probably spread on citrus planting material and fruit a long time ago, so there is no history of its spread traceable in the literature.
Risk of IntroductionTop of page C. dictyospermi is mentioned on quarantine lists (Burger and Ulenberg, 1990). It could become a serious pest of palms in greenhouses in the USA (Westcott, 1973).
HabitatTop of page C. dictyospermi especially feeds on leaves, but in heavy infestations it is sometimes found on fruit and occasionally on branches.
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page C. dictyospermi is a highly polyphagous species; Borchsenius (1966) recorded it from hosts belonging to 73 plant families, but its host range is probably wider than this. Favoured hosts are citrus and other trees such as olives (Olea europaea subsp. europaea) and palms. Ebeling (1950) noted that it preferred feeding on leaves.
Growth StagesTop of page Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Post-harvest, Seedling stage, Vegetative growing stage
SymptomsTop of page On citrus, heavy infestations of C. dictyospermi can cover the tree. The toxic saliva injected while feeding causes leaf chlorosis, and feeding by many scale insects causes drying and death of the branches (Cohic, 1955). Infestation decreases plant growth and development and disfigures the fruit, reducing their market value.
List of Symptoms/SignsTop of page
|Fruit / external feeding|
|Leaves / abnormal colours|
|Leaves / abnormal leaf fall|
|Leaves / external feeding|
|Stems / dieback|
|Stems / external feeding|
Biology and EcologyTop of page Genetics
The genetics and karyotype of C. dictyospermi has not been studied.
Physiology and Phenology
There are two immature, feeding stages in the female and four immature stages in the male; the last two of which (pre-pupa and pupa) are non-feeding and are spent beneath the scale cover secreted by the second-instar male. After moulting to adult, the male spends some time sitting beneath this scale while his flight muscles mature, before flying away to seek females.
The adult male is very short-lived because he cannot feed. The adult female lives for several months and feeds throughout her life. In California, C. dictyospermi has three or four overlapping generations each year (Gill, 1997); in Egypt, only two (Salama, 1970); Peairs and Davidson (1956) recorded three to six generations per year in the USA. In tropical conditions, reproduction is continuous; in the Republic of Georgia there are two or three generations per year, and no winter diapause (Chkhaidze and Yasnosh, 2001). Alkan (1953) recorded three to six generations per year in Turkey, where overwintering was usually as first- or second-instar nymphs (Tuncyurek and Oncuer, 1974). In Italy, the species overwintered mainly as young adult females (Viggiani and Iannaconne, 1972). First-instar crawlers are the primary dispersal stage and move to new areas of the plant or are dispersed by wind or animal contact, before settling to feed. Mortality due to abiotic factors is high in this stage; in winter, in the Republic of Georgia it may reach 78% (Chkhaidze and Yasnosh, 2001), and 40% in Turkey (Tuncyurek-Soydanbay and Erkin, 1981).
C. dictyospermi generally lives on leaves and fruits, and in many countries all stages of the insect can be seen feeding throughout the year.
Reproduction is sexual in most C. dictyospermi populations. The adult male flies to locate the sessile adult female, and the long genitalia are used to mate with the female beneath her scale cover. It is likely that the male locates an unmated female by smell, although details of the pheromone secretion mechanism are not known. However, both uniparental (parthenogenetic) and biparental (sexual) populations of this species have been recorded in the USA (Brown, 1965). Each female lays 1 to 200 eggs beneath her scale cover, where they are sheltered until they hatch and the first-instar crawlers disperse.
C. dictyospermi requires warm temperatures and does not multiply much in cold weather. In Egypt, optimal conditions for C. dictyospermi were found to be 22 to 25°C, and mean relative humidity of 50 to 58% (Salama, 1970).
Natural enemiesTop of page
|Natural enemy||Type||Life stages||Specificity||References||Biological control in||Biological control on|
|Aphytis lingnanensis||Parasite||Adults/Nymphs||Greece; India; Karnataka; Morocco||Citrus; Citrus maxima|
|Aphytis melinus||Parasite||Adults/Nymphs||Corsica; Crete; Greece; Italy; Morocco; Sicily; Spain||Citrus|
|Aphytis sp. nr. lingnanensis||Parasite||Adults/Nymphs||California||Citrus|
|Encarsia lounsburyi||Parasite||Adults/Nymphs||France; Italy||Citrus|
|Encarsia perniciosi||Parasite||Adults/Nymphs||France; Greece||Citrus|
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page Traboulsi (1969) indicated that, prior to classical biological control, Aphytis chrysomphali was the most abundant natural enemy of C. dictyospermi found in the Mediterranean Basin; it was ineffective at regulating the populations and may have been introduced there accidentally with its host. A. chrysomphali was responsible for up to 40% parasitism of young adult female C. dictyospermi (Viggiani and Iannoconne, 1972).
The introduced species, Aphytis melinus, subsequently became widely established and effective against C. dictyospermi, often displacing the native A. chrysomphali (Argyriou, 1974). In Sicily, A. melinus completes a generation in 22 days and is active in the field from the end of March to December (Inserra, 1970); this parasitoid is preyed upon by the introduced ant, Iridomyrmex humilis [Linepithema humile], causing biological control of C. dictyospermi to be ineffective in ant-infested areas of Sicily (Inserra, 1970). In mainland Italy, biological control by A. melinus was so effective that chemical control was unnecessary except in areas infested by I. humilis [L. humile] ants (Inserra, 1971).
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page Natural Dispersal
Crawlers are the primary dispersal stage and move to new areas of the plant or are dispersed by wind or animal contact. Mortality due to abiotic factors is high in this stage.
Movement in Trade
Dispersal of sessile adults and eggs occurs through human transport of infested plant material.
Plant TradeTop of page
|Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transport||Pest stages||Borne internally||Borne externally||Visibility of pest or symptoms|
|Bark||adults; eggs; nymphs; pupae||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Flowers/Inflorescences/Cones/Calyx||adults; eggs; nymphs; pupae||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Fruits (inc. pods)||adults; eggs; nymphs; pupae||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Leaves||adults; eggs; nymphs; pupae||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Seedlings/Micropropagated plants||adults; eggs; nymphs; pupae||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches||adults; eggs; nymphs; pupae||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport|
|Growing medium accompanying plants|
|True seeds (inc. grain)|
Wood PackagingTop of page
|Wood Packaging not known to carry the pest in trade/transport|
|Loose wood packing material|
|Processed or treated wood|
|Solid wood packing material with bark|
|Solid wood packing material without bark|
ImpactTop of page C. dictyospermi is known mainly as a serious pest of Citrus (Zahradník, 1990). In Spain, Melia (1976) recorded it as one of the arthropods responsible for rejection of 22% of citrus fruits in the sorting and packing house; wastage was highest for Navel oranges (23%) and lowest for blood oranges (9%). Danzig and Pellizzari (1998) referred to C. dictyospermi as a dangerous pest in the Palaearctic region. Miller and Gimpel (2004) mentioned it being a most serious pest of citrus in the western Mediterranean Basin, Greece and Iran. Crouzel (1973) recorded C. dictyospermi causing damage of economic importance to citrus in Argentina, and Squire (1972) recorded the scale as a pest of citrus and other plants in Bolivia. In the Republic of Georgia, it is the main scale insect pest of citrus (Chkhaidze and Yasnosh, 2001). In Russia, C. dictyospermi is a pest of tea (Dzhashi, 1970). It is also known as a minor pest in Mexico and South America (Rosen and DeBach, 1978). Foldi (2001) listed it as an economically important pest in France.
In Turkey, C. dictyospermi was most active in citrus plantations in the Aegean region in the past, and even now is often found on citrus trees in gardens, where damage is generally caused by the larvae and is not economically serious; however, never less than 25% of tangerine fruit are heavily infested (Tuncyurek and Oncuer, 1974; Soydanbay, 1977). Infestation decreases plant growth and development and disfigures the fruit, reducing their market value. C. dictyospermi is a pest in citrus plantations in the Black Sea region of Russia (Wyniger, 1962) and is the most important scale insect in Greece (De Bach and Argryiou, 1967). In Egypt, it attacks ornamental plants under glass (Nada, 1987).
In the western Mediterranean region and Florida, USA, C. dictyospermi is a serious pest of Citrus; it is a minor pest of Citrus, palms and young avocado trees in Mexico and South America (Chua and Wood, 1990; Gill, 1997). The species is of economic importance on several hosts in Brazil, and is regarded as a pest in Argentina, where it occurs on both cultivated and native plants; in Chile it is a primary pest on Citrus and is common on ornamental plants (Claps et al., 2001). C. dictyospermi is a pest of olive in Italy, Spain and Turkey (Argyriou, 1990). The species has been reported as a significant pest of Citrus in a number of countries in the South Pacific region; it is also very destructive to rose trees (Williams and Watson, 1988). FAO (1976) recorded C. dictyospermi attacking Pinus caribaea and Pinus caribaea var. hondurensis in Fiji.
DiagnosisTop of page Microscopic examination of slide-mounted adult females is required for authoritative identification to species. McKenzie (1939), Williams and Watson (1988), Gill (1997) and Watson (2002) provide keys to species of Chrysomphalus.
Detection and InspectionTop of page Closely examine the leaves of the host-plants listed in this datasheet (see 'Host Range') in strong light, looking for circular, flat, greyish or reddish-brown scale covers (often with a coppery tinge), with yellow or white, central exuviae. The scales may be massed together in large numbers.
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page The scale covers of this species can be confused with those of Aonidiella aurantii in the field (Gill, 1997). However, adult female C. dictyospermi can be distinguished from A. aurantii in slide mounts because they possess perivulvar pores, and lack prosomal lobes expanded postero-laterally to partially enclose the pygidium (the latter is a prominent feature of mature female A. aurantii).
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.Cultural Control and Sanitary Methods
In Spain, Limon et al. (1976) recorded that carob trees (Ceratonia siliqua) were a major reservoir of infestation of citrus by C. dictyospermi, but that this problem was decreasing over time as this tree species was being less widely grown.
Successful biological control of C. dictyospermi in the Mediterranean Basin was developed by capitalising on the experience gained in California, USA, in controlling citrus scale insects. Various species of Aphytis that had been used for control of Aonidiella aurantii in California were introduced, but only Aphytis melinus became widely established and effective against C. dictyospermi, often displacing the native Aphytis chrysomphali (Argyriou, 1974). In Italy, A. chrysomphali was responsible for up to 40% parasitism of young adult female C. dictyospermi (Viggiani and Iannoconne, 1972).
The background and results of biological control of C. dictyospermi in Cyprus and Greece were reviewed by Greathead (1976). The successful campaign in Greece was described by De Bach and Argyriou (1967), and that in Morocco by Benassy and Euverte (1970). Subsequently, A. melinus spread, or was deliberately introduced to, other countries in the Mediterranean Basin, where it is also an effective control agent - provided chemical control of other pests does not interfere with the parasitoid. In Sicily, A. melinus is preyed upon by the introduced ant, Iridomyrmex humilis [Linepithema humile], causing biological control of C. dictyospermi to be ineffective in ant-infested areas of Sicily (Inserra, 1970). In mainland Italy, biological control by A. melinus was so effective that chemical control was unnecessary except in areas infested by I. humilis [L. humile] ants (Inserra, 1971).
Aphytis citrinus [Aphytis aonidiae] appeared in Turkey in 1966 and spread throughout the country, principally attacking C. dictyospermi (Tuncyurek-Soydanbay and Erkin, 1979a). A. citrinus [A. aonidiae] and A. melinus apparently did not compete because each species prefers to attack different developmental stages of the scale insect (nymphs on upper leaf surfaces and adults on lower leaf surfaces, respectively); C. dictyospermi ceased to be a problem in unsprayed orchards where both parasitoids were present (Tuncyurek and Oncuer, 1974).
Chkhaidze and Yasnosh (2001) remarked that in the Republic of Georgia, the natural enemy complex considerably limits the presence of C. dictyospermi, but does not appear to be capable of eradicating it, so sometimes the use of additional control measures is necessary.
In Cuba, control of C. dictyospermi by natural enemies is so effective that the scale is only found in citrus orchards that are treated with insecticides, which reduce the natural enemy populations (Fontenla Rizo et al., 1987).
Benassy (1977) discussed the mass rearing of A. melinus in a laboratory in France.
C. dictyospermi can be successfully treated with white mineral oils (Lodos, 1982). Chkhaidze and Yasnosh (2001) remarked that in the Republic of Georgia, the natural enemy complex considerably limits the presence of C. dictyospermi, but does not appear to be capable of eradicating it, so sometimes the use of additional control measures is necessary. In the Aegean part of Turkey, Soydanbay (1977) recommended a single application of white oil before July if scale density on leaves exceeded 3 scales/cm² at the beginning of summer. The use of pesticides can have an adverse impact on natural enemy populations (Bozan and Yildirim, 1992).
Field Monitoring/Economic Threshold Levels
In the Aegean part of Turkey, biological control of C. dictyospermi by hymenopteran parasitoids was mostly effective. However, if scale density on leaves at the beginning of summer exceeded a threshold of 3 scales/cm², use of a selective insecticide least harmful to the parasitoids was recommended (Tuncyurek-Soydanbay and Erkin, 1981).
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