Saissetia oleae (Olivier)



Common name

Black scale

Field characters

Body round; convex in cross section in older females; body yellow, orange yellow, or gray, as specimens mature becoming brown or black; all stages with raised areas forming an "H" on dorsum; with small areas of clear wax on dorsum; without an ovisac; hemispherical body forms a cavity under female where eggs are laid. Occurring on leaves and stems.

Validation characters

Marginal setae simple or slightly fimbriate; anal plates with conspicuous discal seta; discal seta not fimbriate; tibio-tarsus not articulated, with tibio-tarsal sclerosis; ventral submarginal tubular ducts with narrow filament; derm with areolations in older females. Other characters: Dorsal tubular ducts absent; with numerous submarginal dome-shaped tubercles; each anal plate with 3 or 4 apical setae and no subdiscal seta; with 3 subapical setae on each plate; anal fold with 5 to 8 fringe setae, normally 6; ventral tubular ducts restricted to submarginal areas; multilocular pores normally with 10 loculi; multiloculars present in vulvar area forward to segment 2; multilocular pores anterior of anterior spiracle predominantly with 5 loculi, about same size as pores laterad of anterior spiracle; claw without denticle; claw digitules equal; 3 pairs of prevulvar setae (posterior pair often obscured by anal plates); stigmatic setae differentiated from other marginal setae, middle seta longer than lateral setae; anal plates with posterior margin about equal to or slightly longer than length of anterior margin; antennae usually 8-segmented; preopercular pores conspicuous, restricted to area anterior of anal plates.


Saissetia oleae oleae is similar to S. neglecta by having a disc seta on anal plates, few setae between anterior spiracular furrows, and areolate derm. Saissetia oleae oleae differs by having tibio-tarsus with sclerosis, marginal setae less fimbriate, disc seta with simple apex, and dorsal setae with slightly rounded apex (S. neglecta has tibio-tarsus without sclerosis, marginal setae conspicuously fimbriate, disc seta with fimbriate apex, and dorsal setae with acute apex.)

U.S. quarantine notes

This species was intercepted 44 times on a variety of hosts at U. S. ports-of-entry between 1995 and 2012, with specimens originating from Australia, Hawaii, Honduras, India, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Panama, The Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, and Zambia. We also have examined specimens taken in quarantine from Algeria (Citrus, Pyrus); Argentina (Citrus, Vitis); Australia (Boronia, Citrus, Correa, Gardenia, Macrozamia, Nerium, Olea); Bermuda (Bryophyllum, Cycas, Laurus, Nerium); Brazil (Cassia, Oncidium); Britian (Olearia); Canary Islands (Cycas); Chile (Citrus, Prunus, Tilia); China (Litchi), Dominican Republic (Olea); Ecuador (Dieffenbachia); El Salvador (Terminalia); France (Abutilon, Citrus, Ilex, Laurus, Myrtus, Nerium, Osteospermum, Pyrus); Greece (Citrus, Olea, Punica); Guatemala (Solanum); Italy (Aralia, Cheirostemon, Citrus, Elaeodendron, Euonymus, Fatsia, Nerium, Olea, Punica, Pyrus, Quercus, Ricinus, Silene, Vinca); Japan (Buxus, Fatsia); Madiera (Nerium); Mexico (Citrus, Nerium); Morocco (Citrus); Netherlands (Ricinus); New Zealand (Amygdalus, Citrus, Corokia, Ourisia, Prunus, Pseudopanax, Sideroxylon, Suttonia, Veronica, Vitex); Peru (Stanhopea); Portugal (Citrus, Olea, Prunus, Punica); Sicily (Citrus); South Africa (Leucospermum, Protea); Spain (Citrus, Euonymus, Olea); Tunisia (Prunus); Turkey (Ficus); Uruguay (Cycas, Nerium, Olea, Tamarix); Yugoslavia (Olea). ScaleNet includes hosts in over 75 plant families from all zoogeographic regions. Because it was divided into 3 species in 1969 and 1971, many of the older records may be erroneous and are not provided here. No species in the genus Saissetia other than S. coffeae (Walker), S. miranda (Cockerell & Parrott), S. neglecta De Lotto and S. oleae oleae have been intercepted at U. S. ports-of-entry.

Important references

DeLott1971b; Gill1988; Granar1999; HamonWi1984; WilliaWa1990.

Scalenet catalog and citation list

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  Saissetia oleae  oleae    Illustration by R. J. Gill

Saissetia oleae oleae
Illustration by R. J. Gill

  Saissetia oleae  oleae

Saissetia oleae oleae