- 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.]
Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides
Coconut (false) scale (348)
Photo 1. Masses of adults and nymphs of the coconut (false) scales, Aspidiotus rigidus, on the leaf of a coconut.
Photo 2. Yellowing of mature palms, due to infestation of coconut (false) scale, Aspidiotus rigidus.
Coconut scale, coconut false scale
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. (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264159039_Aspidiotus_rigidus_Reyne_Hemiptera_Diaspididae_A_devastating_pest_of_coconut_in_the_Philippines#:~:text=The%20coconut%20scale%20insect%2C%20Aspidiotus,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 (http://download.ceris.purdue.edu/file/2821). 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.