Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Coconut (false) scale (348)

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  • Narrow distribution. Not in Oceania. A scale of coconut, banana, mangosteen, and ornamentals. Since 2009, a serious outbreak in the Philippines.
  • Sucking causes leaves to yellow, wilt and dry out, nuts have less 'meat' and 'milk' is sour. Heavy infestations kill seedlings and young palms.
  • Eggs in crescents under the cover or 'armour'; 'crawlers' (nymphs) hatch and disperse, settle, moult; females produce yellow to brown transparent armour, up to 3 mm across. Males have wings, but short-lived.
  • Spread by crawlers walking, or carried by wind, vehicles, animals, birds, on clothing, and trade in plants.
  • Natural enemies: research into predators and parasitic wasps continues.
  • IPM recommendations (Philippines): leaf pruning, insecticide trunk injections, and canopy sprays; biocontrol agents (e.g., a Comperiella species), and fertilizer to hasten recovery. [The Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (of Philippines) has given approval for growers to use a vegetable oil.]
Common Name

Coconut scale, coconut false scale

Scientific Name

Aspidiotus rigidus; previously Aspidiotus destructor rigidus.

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from Watson GA, et al. (2016) Aspidiotus rigidus Reyne (Hemiptera: Diaspididae): a devasting pest of coconuts in the Philippines. Agriculture and Forest Entomology 17:1-8. (,Philippines%20between%202010%20and%202015); and CABI (2020) Aspidiotus rigidus. Crop Protection Compendium; and from Molet T (2015) CPHST Pest Datasheet for Aspidiotus rigidus. USDA-APHIS-PPQ-CPHST ( Photos 1-4 Merle Shepard/Gerald Carner, Clemson University, USA. Photos 5-7 Plant Pest Diagnostics Branch, California Department of Food & Agriculture, Sacramento, USA.

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project PC/2010/090: Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

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