Lobate Lac Scale

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Scientific name

Paratachardina pseudolobata Kondo & Gullan

Family

Kerriidae

Synonyms

Occasionally misidentified as Paratachardina lobata Chamberlain, which is morphologically very similar.

Description

The mature female is about 1.5-2 mm in diameter and has a very characteristic x-shaped appearance. The external covering of the insect is very hard and brittle and deep red to maroon in color. They may occasionally appear dull and black due to the growth of sooty mold. The first instar, known as crawlers, are elongate-oval, red in color, and less than 0.5 mm in length. The second instar develops the characteristic lobate shape, then presumably molts to the adult form as in other scale insects. Males of the species have not been observed.

Distribution

Confined mostly to the tropics. Native to India and Sri Lanka.

Hosts

Palms: pygmy date palm (Phoenix roebelenii)

Other: primarily woody dicotyledonous plants; highly susceptible hosts include wax-myrtle, cocoplum, buttonwood, various ficus species, red bay, hibiscus, and mango

May be confused with

Crawlers may look similar to cottony cushion scale crawlers, but lack the dark legs. Adult females are very distinctive.

Additional comments

The lobate lac scale is found primarily on the twigs and small branches of the plant, and has not been detected on foliage. Lobate lac scale infestations are usually accompanied by sooty mold, as these scales do produce honeydew. Ants may also be present.

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