Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Lepidosaphes ulmi
(oystershell scale)



Lepidosaphes ulmi (oystershell scale)


  • Last modified
  • 14 July 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Pest
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Lepidosaphes ulmi
  • Preferred Common Name
  • oystershell scale
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta
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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Lepidosaphes ulmi (Linnaeus, 1758)

Preferred Common Name

  • oystershell scale

Other Scientific Names

  • Aspidiotus conchiformis Curtis, 1843
  • Aspidiotus falciformis Baerensprung, 1849
  • Aspidiotus juglandis Fitch, 1855
  • Aspidiotus pomorum Bouché, 1851
  • Aspidiotus pyrus-malus Kennicott, Fernald, 1903
  • Aspidiotus saliceti (Lindinger) Ferris, 1941
  • Coccus conchiformis (Curtis) Ferris, 1936
  • Coccus ulmi Linnaeus, 1758
  • Diaspis linearis Costa, 1835
  • Lepidosaphes (Mytilaspis) ulmi (Linnaeus) Hall, 1922
  • Lepidosaphes ceratoniae (Gennadios) Fernald, 1903
  • Lepidosaphes conchiformis (Curtis) Shimer, 1868
  • Lepidosaphes juglandis (Fitch) Fernald, 1903
  • Lepidosaphes pomorum (Bouché) Kirkaldy, 1902
  • Lepidosaphes ulmi (Linnaeus) Fernald, 1903
  • Lepidosaphes ulmi bisexualis Thiem, 1933
  • Lepidosaphes ulmi candida Fernald, 1903
  • Lepidosaphes ulmi ulicis Fernald, 1903
  • Lepidosaphes ulmi unisexualis Thiem, 1933
  • Lepidosaphes ulmi vitis Fernald, 1903
  • Lepidosaphes ulmi-cotini Koronéos, 1934
  • Lepidosaphes ulmi-rosae Koronéos, 1934
  • Lepidosaphes vulva Nel, 1933
  • Mytilaspis (Lepidosaphes) pomorum (Bouché) Lindinger, 1907
  • Mytilaspis ceratoniae Gennadios, 1895
  • Mytilaspis juglandis (Fitch) Signoret, 1870
  • Mytilaspis pomicorticis Riley, 1873
  • Mytilaspis pomorum (Bouché) Signoret, 1870
  • Mytilaspis pomorum var. candidus Newstead, 1901
  • Mytilaspis pomorum var. ulicis Newstead, 1901
  • Mytilaspis ulicis Douglas, 1886
  • Mytilaspis ulmi (Linnaeus) Cockerell, 1899
  • Mytilaspis ulmi corticis Riley, 1874
  • Mytilaspis vitis Goethe, 1884
  • Mytilococcus saliceti Lindinger, 1936
  • Mytilococcus ulmi (Linnaeus) Lindinger, 1935

International Common Names

  • English: apple mussel scale; mussel scale
  • Spanish: cochinilla coma (Argentina); queresa del manzano; serpeta del olmo
  • French: cochenille virgule; cochenille virgule du pommier; kermès virgule

Local Common Names

  • Denmark: kommaskjoldlus, almaen
  • Finland: pilkkukilpikirva
  • Germany: Kommaschildlaus, Apfel-
  • Italy: cocciniglia a virgola; pidocchio a virgola dei pioppi e degli alberi da f
  • Japan: ringo-kakikaigaramusi
  • Netherlands: kommaschildluis
  • Norway: kommaskjoldlus
  • Sweden: kommasköldlus
  • Turkey: virgul kosnili

EPPO code

  • LEPSUB (Lepidosaphes ulmi bisexualis)
  • LEPSUL (Lepidosaphes ulmi)

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Hemiptera
  •                         Suborder: Sternorrhyncha
  •                             Unknown: Coccoidea
  •                                 Family: Diaspididae
  •                                     Genus: Lepidosaphes
  •                                         Species: Lepidosaphes ulmi

Distribution Table

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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.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes


AfghanistanRestricted distributionFowjhan and Kozar, 1994
ArmeniaPresentBabayab & Oganesyan, 1979; Sarkisyan, 1982
ChinaRestricted distributionNakahara, 1982; Tang, 1984
Georgia (Republic of)WidespreadAleksidze et al., 1995; Yasnosh, 1995
IndiaPresentHegde et al., 1977
IranPresentBabayan and Oganesyan, 1979
IraqPresentNakahara, 1982
IsraelRestricted distributionNakahara, 1982; Mendel et al., 1992
JapanPresentMerrill, 1953; Murakami, 1970
-HokkaidoPresentNHM, 1924
KazakhstanPresentMatesova, 1980
Korea, Republic ofPresentNakahara, 1982
Saudi ArabiaPresentNakahara, 1982
SyriaPresentNakahara, 1982
TaiwanPresentNHM, 1914; Nakahara, 1982
TurkeyRestricted distributionAcatay, 1970


AlgeriaPresentMerrill, 1953
EgyptRestricted distributionEl-Minshawy et al., 1974
South AfricaPresentNakahara, 1982
-Canary IslandsRestricted distributionTorres et al., 1992
TunisiaPresentMansour et al., 2011

North America

CanadaRestricted distributionKarsemeijer, 1973
-British ColumbiaPresentKosztarab, 1996
-New BrunswickPresentKosztarab, 1996
-Nova ScotiaRestricted distributionMacphee and Maclellan, 1971; Kosztarab, 1996
-OntarioPresentKosztarab, 1996
-Prince Edward IslandPresentKosztarab, 1996
-QuebecRestricted distributionParent, 1970; Parent, 1973
MexicoPresentMiller, 1996
USAPresentKosztarab, 1996
-CaliforniaPresentGill, 1997
-FloridaPresentMerrill, 1953
-IndianaPresentDietz and Morrison, 1916
-KentuckyPresentMussey and Potter, 1997
-MarylandRestricted distributionGarrett, 1973
-MassachusettsPresentKing, 1901
-MichiganPresentMcDaniel, 1939
-MississippiPresentHerriot, 1911
-MissouriPresentHollinger, 1923
-New YorkRestricted distributionGroot, 1967
-PennsylvaniaRestricted distributionHart and Byrnes, 1960
-TennesseePresentLambdin & Watson, 1980
-UtahPresentNHM, 1962
-VirginiaPresentKosztarab, 1996

South America

ArgentinaPresentNakahara, 1982
BrazilPresentMerrill, 1953
ChileRestricted distributionCarillo et al., 1995; Gonzalez, 1984; Gonzalez, 1986
ColombiaPresentNakahara, 1982
PeruPresentNakahara, 1982
UruguayPresentNakahara, 1982


AustriaPresentMerrill, 1953
BelgiumRestricted distributionBusschere PJde, 1970
BulgariaWidespreadTsachev, 1978; Tsachev, 1979; Trenchev and Pavlov, 1981; Dirimanov et al., 1984
CroatiaRestricted distributionKozarzevskaja and Vlainic, 1981; Milek et al., 2017
CyprusPresentNakahara, 1982
Czechoslovakia (former)PresentKozar and Konstantinova, 1981
DenmarkPresentMerrill, 1953
FrancePresentMerrill, 1953; Geoffrion, 1976; Gharib, 1978; Gharib and Benassy, 1983
GermanyRestricted distributionMerill, 1953; Witte and Lein, 1992
GreeceRestricted distributionArgyyriou & Kourmadas, 1981; Kozar and Konstantinova, 1981; Katsoyannos et al., 1995
HungaryRestricted distributionBognar and Vinis, 1979; Kozar and Konstantinova, 1981; Kozar and Drozdjak, 1988
ItalyRestricted distributionMerrill, 1953; Masutti, 1982; Viggiani et al., 1986
LuxembourgPresentNHM, 1961
MacedoniaPresentMerrill, 1953; Soulis, 1960
NetherlandsRestricted distributionKarsemeijer, 1973; Dijke and Frankenhuyzen, 1985; Helsen et al., 1996
NorwayPresentMerrill, 1953; Kozar and Konstantinova, 1981
PolandRestricted distributionKozar and Konstantinova, 1981; Koteja, 1983; Komosinska, 1986
RomaniaPresentTudor, 1982
Russian FederationWidespreadSaakyan-Baranova, 1978; Borisoglebskaya, 1979; Konashevich, 1980
-Central RussiaPresentKulikova, 1987
SpainPresentGomez-Menor, 1956; Gomez-Menor, 1968
-Balearic IslandsPresentNHM, 1969
SwedenPresentMerrill, 1953
SwitzerlandPresentMerrill, 1953; Wildbolz, 1988
UKWidespreadDicker, 1977; Easterbrook et al., 1985
UkraineWidespreadTereznikova, 1974; Baganich, 1987
Yugoslavia (former)WidespreadAbramovic, 1980
Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)Restricted distributionInjac, 1980a; Kozarzevskaja et al., 1982; Velimirovic, 1990


AustraliaPresentMerrill, 1953
-TasmaniaPresentHudson, 1967

Growth Stages

Top of page Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Post-harvest, Vegetative growing stage

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Fruit / abnormal shape
Fruit / discoloration
Fruit / premature drop
Leaves / abnormal colours
Leaves / external feeding
Leaves / wilting
Stems / dieback
Stems / external feeding
Whole plant / external feeding

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Adelencyrtus mayurai Parasite Adults/Nymphs
Anabrolepis mayri Parasite
Aphytis aonidiae Parasite Adults/Nymphs
Aphytis hispanicus Parasite
Aphytis maculicornis Parasite
Aphytis mytilaspidis Parasite
Aphytis proclia Parasite Adults/Nymphs
Archenomus maritimus Parasite Adults/Nymphs
Chilocorus renipustulatus Predator Adults/Nymphs
Chilocorus stigma Predator Adults/Nymphs
Coccobius annulicornis Parasite Adults/Nymphs USA trees
Cybocephalus fodori Predator
Encarsia elongata Parasite
Encarsia gigas Parasite
Encarsia lounsburyi Parasite
Encarsia perniciosi Parasite
Epitetracnemus zetterstedtii Parasite Adults/Nymphs
Forficula auricularia Predator Adults/Nymphs
Hemisarcoptes malus Predator
Pteroptrix opaca Parasite Adults/Nymphs
Zaomma lambinus Parasite


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Abramovic T, 1980. Contribution to the study of scale insects on apple and peach trees in the Regional Territory of Belgrade. Interim report. Arhiv za Poljoprivredne Nauke, 41(143):523-529

Acatay A, 1970. Pests of Rosa damascena Mill. in Turkey. Anzeiger fur Schadlingskunde und Pflanzenschutz., 43(4):49-53

Aleksidze G, 1995. Armored scale insects (Diaspididae), pests of fruit orchards and their control in the Republic of Georgia. Israel Journal of Entomology, 29:187-190; 9 ref.

Aleksidze G, Ascher KRS, Ben-Dov Y, 1995. Armored scale insects (Diaspididae), pests of fruit orchards and their control in the Republic of Georgia. Proceedings of VII International Symposium of Scale Insect Studies. Journal of Entomology, 29:187-190.

APPPC, 1987. Insect pests of economic significance affecting major crops of the countries in Asia and the Pacific region. Technical Document No. 135. Bangkok, Thailand: Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific region (RAPA).

Argyriou LC, Kourmadas AL, 1981. Contribution to the timing for the control of Diaspididae scales of olive trees. Annales de l'Institut Phytopathologique Benaki, 13(1):65-72

Babayan GA, Oganesyan SB, 1979. Fresh data on the bioecology of the Armenian mussel scale (Lepidosaphes malicola Borchs) (Diaspididae) in Armenia. Biologicheskii Zhurnal Armenii, 32(3):187-193

Baganich MI, 1987. The apple mussel scale - a pest of ash. Zashchita Rastenii (Moskva), No. 12:40-41

Bognar S, Vinis G, 1979. Scale insects in the parks and avenues of Budapest. Acta Agronomica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, 28(1-2):13-26.

Borisoglebskaya MS, 1979. Necessity of protecting decorative plants as well. Zashchita Rastenii, No. 7:61

Busschere PJde, 1970. Distribution of hibernating forms of apple pests in the region of Gembloux (November and December 1967). (Distribution des formes hivernantes des ravageurs du pommier dans la region de Gembloux (novembre et decembre 1967).) Bulletin des Recherches Agronomiques de Gembloux, 5(1/2):152-176.

Canada Agriculture, 1971. Biological control programmes against insects and weeds in Canada 1959-1968. Commonwealth Institute of Biological Control, Technical Communication no. 4: 266 pp.

Carrillo LR, Cifuentes CC, Mundaca BN, 1995. Life cycle of Lepidosaphes ulmi (L.) (Hemiptera: Diaspididae). Revista Chilena de Entomologi^acute~a, 22:5-8; 14 ref.

Danzig EM, 1959. The scale insect fauna (Homoptera: Coccoidea) of the Leningrad region. Entomological Review, 38:395-407.

Davidson JA, Miller DR, 1990. Ornamental plants. In: Rosen D, ed. Armoured Scale Insects, their Biology, Natural Enemies and Control. Vol. 4B. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier, 603-632.

Dietz HF, Morrison H, 1916. The Coccidae or scale insects of IndianaIndianapolis, ID: Office of State Entomologist.

Dijke JF van, Frankenhuyzen Avan, 1985. Mussel scale (Lepidosaphes ulmi) is again increasing in importance in fruit growing. Fruitteelt, 75(8):178-179

Dirimanov M, Burov D, Karov S, Lecheva I, Mitkov A, 1984. A quality product at a low price. Rastitelna Zashchita, 32(10):37-39

Easterbrook MA, Solomon MG, Cranham JE, Souter EF, 1985. Trials of an integrated pest management programme based on selective pesticides in English apple orchards. Crop Protection, 4(2):215-230

Ebeling W, 1959. Subtropical Fruit Pests. Los Angeles, USA: University of California.

El-Minshawy AM, El-Sawaf SK, Hammad SM, Donia A, 1974. Survey of the scale insects attacking fruit trees in Alexandria district. Part II. Fam. Diaspididae, subfam. Diaspidinae, tribe Diaspidini. Alexandria Journal of Agricultural Research, 22(2):265-273

Ferris GF, 1937. Atlas of Scale Insects of North America. Stanford, USA: Stanford University Press.

Fowjhan MA, Kozßr F, 1994. New data on the scale insect fauna (Homoptera: Coccoidea) of fruit plants in Afghanistan. Acta Phytopathologica et Entomologica Hungarica, 29(3/4):343-347; 16 ref.

Garrett WT, 1973. Biosystematics of the oystershell scale, Lepidosaphes ulmi (L.) (Homoptera: Diaspididae) in Maryland. PhD Thesis. Ann Arbor, MI, USA: University Microfilms Catalogue 79722671 (Dissertation 73-9-700), 108pp.

Geoffrion R, 1976. Red pear scale. Arboriculture Fruitiere, No. 265:23-31

Gharib B, 1978. On the influence of the food-plant in the macroscopic characterisation of two biological races of Lepidosaphes ulmi L. (Homoptera, Coccoidea, Diaspididae). Comptes Rendus Hebdomadaires des Seances de l'Academie des Sciences, D, 287(13):1211-1214

Gharib B, Benassy C, 1983. Ecological-physiological study on the arrests of embryonic development in the scale insect Lepidosaphes ulmi L. (Coccoidea, Diaspididae). II. - Conditions for resumption of embryonic development of the two races developing on apple and poplar. Acta Oecologica, Oecologia Applicata, 4(2):185-193

Gill R, 1997. The Scale Insects of California. Part 3. The Armored Scales (Homoptera: Diaspididae). Sacramento, USA: California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Gomez-Menor Ortega J, 1956. Cochinillas que atacan a los frutales (Homoptera: Coccoidea: 1. Familia Diaspididae). Boletin de Patologia Vegetal y Entomologia Agricola, Madrid, 22:1-105.

Gomez-Menor Ortega J, 1968. Adiciones a los coccidos de Espana. EOS, Revista Espanola de Entomologia, Madrid, 43(3-4):541-563.

Gonzalez RH, 1984. Seasonal development of insects and mites on apple 1982-1984. Revista Frutcola, 5(1):3-9

Gonzalez RH, 1986. The oystershell scale Lepidosaphes ulmi (L.) (Homoptera: Diaspididae). Revista Fruticola, 7(3):95-100

Griswold GH, 1937. Common insects of the flower garden. Cornell Extension Bulletin, 371.

Groot RC de, 1967. Twig and branch mortality of American Beech infested with oystershell scale. Forest Science, 13(4):448-455.

Hart G, Byrnes WR, 1960. Trees for strip-mined lands. Northeast Forest Experiment Station Paper, 136:36.

Hegde RK, Siddaramaiah AL, Krishna Prasad KS, 1977. A note on little leaf of Angelonia grandiflora. Plant Disease Reporter, 61(7):588

Helsen HHM, Blommers LHM, Trapman MC, 1996. Timing observation and control of mussel scale Lepidosaphes ulmi. Bulletin OILB/SROP, 19(4):145-149; 4 ref.

Herrick GW, 1911. Some scale insects of Mississippi. With notes on certain species from Texas. Mississippi Agricultural Experiment Station Technical Bulletin 2.

Hollinger AH, 1923. Scale insects of Missouri. Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station Research Bulletin, 58:1-71.

Howell JO, Tippins HH, 1977. Descriptions of first instars of nominal type-species of eight diaspidid tribes. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 70(1):119-135

Hudson NM, 1967. A list of the armoured scale insects (Diaspididae) and their hosts in Tasmania. The Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, 101:91-95.

Injac M, 1980. The occurrence of the mussel scale (Mytilococcus = Lepidosaphes ulmi L.) in a scheme for control of populations of some important pests of apple. Zastita Bilja, 31(2):169-176

Injac M, 1980. Use of the scanning electron microscope in the determination of the mussel scale (Mytilococcus = Lepidosaphes ulmi L.). Zastita Bilja, 31(2):189-195

Jansen MGM, 1995. Scale insects (Homoptera: Coccinea) from import interceptions and greenhouses in the Netherlands. Israel Journal of Entomology, 29:131-146; 32 ref.

Johnson WT, Lyon HH, 1976. Insects that feed on trees and shrubs. An illustrated practical guide. Ithaca, New York, USA:Cornell University Press.

Karsemeijer MMD, 1973. Observations on the enemies of the oyster shell scale Lepidopsaphes ulmi, on apple in the Netherlands. Netherlands Journal of Plant Pathology, 79(3):122-124

Katsoyannos P, Stathas GJ, Ascher KRS, Ben-Dov Y, 1995. Phenology, embryonic diapause and importance of natural enemies of Lepidosaphes ulmi (L.) (Homoptera: Diaspididae) on olive trees in Greece. Israel Journal of Entomology, 29:199-206.

King GH, 1901. The Coccidae of British North America. The Canadian Entomologist, 33(6):193-200.

Komosinska H, 1986. Occurrence of scale insects (Homoptera, Coccoidea) on avenue trees in Warsaw. Annals of Warsaw Agricultural University, 20:3-12.

Konashevich AG, 1980. Early spring treatment of apple. Zashchita Rastenii, No. 2:47-48

Konstantinova GM, 1976. Coccids - pests of apple. Zashchita Rastenii, 12:49-50.

Korchagin VN, 1987. Diaspidids and coccids. Zashchita Rastenii (Moskva), No. 3:58-59

Kosoglazov AA, Kapshar GV, 1978. The preservation of city trees and shrubs. Zashchita Rastenii, 9:28-29.

Kosztarab M, 1996. Scale Insects of North Eastern North America: identification, biology, and distribution. Martinsville, USA: Virginia Museum of Natural History, 650 pp.

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Kozár F, Drozdjak J, 1988. Peculiarities in the distribution of scale-insects (Homoptera: Coccoidea) on deciduous fruit trees in Hungary. Acta Phytopathologica et Entomologica Hungarica, 23(1-2):187-210

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Masutti L, 1982. The insects of Euroamerican poplars and their original food-plants. Ecological aspects of problems of prevention and control. Arboricoltura da Legno, 25(5):8 pp.

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Milek, T. M., Šimala, M., Bjeliš, M., Pintar, M., Markotic, V., 2017. Updated check list of scale insects (Hemiptera: Coccoidea) on olive trees in Croatia with special regard on Black araucaria scale - Lindingaspis rossi (Maskell 1891)., IOBC/WPRS Bulletin, 121:91-97

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Parent B, 1970. Chemical control of the oystershell scale, Lepidosaphes ulmi (L.), in apple orchards in southwestern Quebec. Annals of the Entomological Society of Quebec, 15(2):71-79

Parent B, 1973. Note on Aphytis proclia and Anabrolepis mayri (Hymenoptera:Chalcidoidea), parasites of the oystershell scale, Lepidosaphes ulmi (Homoptera:Coccidae). The Canadian Entomologist, 105(1):175

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Sarkisyan NA, 1982. Control of the mussel scale. Zashchita Rastenii, No. 3:26

Semyanov VP, Polesny F, Muller W, Olszak RW, 1996. Lady beetles (Coleoptera, Coccinellidae) of Leningrad region orchards (fauna, biology and their role in pest population dynamics). Bulletin OILB SROP, 19(4):208-211.

Soulis B, 1960. Hemiptera attacking Euramerican poplars. Das Chronicles, 2(26):1164.

Stathas GJ, Bouras SL, Eliopoulos PA, Emmanouel NG, 2005. Control of diaspidid scales on olive trees by releasing coccinellid predators. Bulletin OILB/SROP [Proceedings of the European meeting of the IOBC/WPRS Working Group "Integrated Protection of Olive Crops", Chania, Greece, 29-31 May 2003.], 28(9):157-166.

Suresh S, Mohanasundaram M, 1996. Coccoid (Coccoidea: Homoptera) fauna of Tamil Nadu, India. Journal of Entomological Research, New Delhi, 20(3):233-274.

Tang FT, 1984. Observation on the scale insects injurious to forestry of North China. I. Shanxi Agricultural University Press, Taigu, Shanxi, China, 2:122-133.

Tereznikova EM, 1974. The apple comma scale. Zashchita Rastenii, No.11:30-31

Thiem H, 1933. ber ein- und zweigeschlechtliche Kommaschildlouse (Lepidosaphes ulmi unisexualis und bisexualis, L. rubri und L. newsteadi der deutschen Coccidenfauna. Zeitschrift für Pflanzenkrank, 43:638-657.

Torres del Castillo R, Mendez P, Carnero A, Fernandez M, 1992. Pests of cultivated Chamaecytisus proliferus (L.fil.) Link ssp. palmensis (Christ.) Kunkel in the Canaries. Boletin de Sanidad Vegetal, Plagas, 18(2):483-489

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