Citrus Orthezia

<< previous | next >>

Scientific name

Praelongorthezia praelonga Douglas

Family

Ortheziidae

Synonyms

Orthezia praelonga Douglas

Description

The adult female with its covering is usually around 2 mm in length, but the thick, white, fluted ovisac attached to the abdomen may reach up to 6 mm in length. The body is covered in white waxy plates that are quite ornate. Adult females and immatures have well-developed, prominent, dark legs and antennae. The life cycle of citrus orthezia is not well described, but, like most scales, the females have 4 instars and the males most likely have 5. Males are winged, microscopic, do not feed, and are short-lived.

Distribution

Central and South America as well as the Caribbean.

Hosts

Palms: only known palm host is coconut palm (Cocos nucifera)

Other: may be found on a number of other hosts, but it is primarily known as a pest on citrus

May be confused with

The ornamentation of the waxy structures may be confused with whitefly larvae, but whitefly larvae lack legs. Also has a simliar ovisac to cottony cushion scale, but wax on insect body is found in ornate plates in citrus orthezia, not in cottony cushion scale.

Additional comments

Citrus orthezia also secrete honeydew, and so are often accompanied by the growth of sooty mold.

<< previous | next >>