Introduction of Paratachardina lobata lobata into Florida, US
Prof. F.W. Howard from the University of Florida, Fort Lauderdale (US), has attracted the attention of the EPPO Secretariat to a recent pest introduction into Florida.
In August 1999, the lobate lac scale, Paratachardina lobata lobata (Hemiptera: Keriidae) was first collected in the USA, in Florida, on a plant of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis in the town of Davie (Broward County). The infested plant was destroyed. However, the pest was later found in several other locations in Florida on a very wide range of host plants grown as ornamental shrubs or trees, or as fruit trees. As of October 2002, P. lobata lobata was found from Lake Worth (Palm Beach County) to Homestead (Miami-Dade County), covering an area of 128 km along the coast and from the coast to 28 km inland. It is also reported that in 1992, specimens of scale insects from the Bahamas had been identified as P. lobata lobata. This pest is thought to originate from Asia, and is reported in India and Sri Lanka.
The following species are considered as highly susceptible host plants: Averrhoa carambola, Bucida buceras, Chrysobalanus icaco, Conocarpus erectus, Ficus aurea, F. benjamina, F. microcarpa, Litchi chinensis, Mangifera indica, Myrsine guianensis, Myrica cerifera, Persea borbonia, Psychotria nervosa, Quercus geminata.
Attacked plants are covered with scales. The resinous scale covering is light to dark reddish brown (the resinous secretions of some Kerriidae species have traditionally been used for making lacquer, but the resinous secretions of P. lobata lobata have no commercial value). Sooty mould then develops on infested branches. Highly infested shrubs and small trees may die. In Florida, this new scale is considered as an unusually serious pest which has the potential to invade other tropical and sub-tropical areas via the movements of infested plants.
Personal communication with Prof. Howard, University of Florida, Fort Lauderdale, 2002-12-05.
Pest Alert. Lobate lac scale, Paratachardina lobata lobata (Chamberlin) (Hemiptera: Kerriideae) by A.B. Hamon, June 2001.
University of Florida. Featured Creatures