Cottony cushion scale. The cottony cushion scale was a major pest of citrus in the 1880s. Their waste products are a sweet honeydew that ants and wasps will feed on readily. Buss university of florida. The major subdivision is between the more ancient forms the archaeococcoids and the more recently emerged forms the neococcoids.
This beetle yes a lady bug is actually a beetle was brought to california and released in the orange groves. Cottony cushion scales are commonly brownblack with a grey or white cotton wool like covering when they produce eggs. Icerya purchasi common name. Its cottony egg sac and profuse honeydew production make cottony cushion scale easy to spot in the landscape.
Cottony cushion scales extract plant sap from leaves twigs and branches thus reducing tree vigor. As the egg sac is formed the scales abdomen becomes more and more tilted until the scale appears to be standing on its head. The scale secretes honeydew which promotes the growth of sooty mold. Ive had two dwarf citrus trees one lime one meyer lemon for over two years now in the front of my home and they did great the first year.
Heavy cushion scale infestations result in the blackening of the foliage of camellia holly rhododendron trachelospermum and some other evergreen plants during the early months of the year. First instar crawler of the cottony cushion scale icerya purchasi maskell. If infestations are heavy leaf and fruit drop can occur along with twig dieback. Cottony cushion scale insects fix themselves to leaves and stems and suck sap.
Photograph by lyle j. Archaeococcoids callipappidae bird of paradise scales. This tiny insect the cottony cushion scale is a friggin thorn in my citrus trees sides. American lady bugs didnt pay too much attention to cottony cushion scale but this australian lady bug called rodolia cardinalis just loved to munch on cottony cushion scale insects for breakfast lunch and supper.
All phloem feeding honeydew producing pests have the potential to be tended by ants. The sticky honeydew will also encourage moulds such as sooty mould. The cottony cushion scale originates from australia. Cottony cushion scale is a scale insect that feeds on more than 65 families of woody plants most notably on citrus and pittosporumoriginally described in 1878 from specimens collected in new zealand as pests of kangaroo acacia it is now found worldwide where citrus crops are grown.
Cottony cushion scales can have 2 3 generations per year. Early nymphal stage of the cottony cushion scale icerya purchasi maskell.