Cycad Aulacaspis Scale – Aulacaspis yasumatsui

Cycad Aulacaspis Scale: Appearance, Territory, Damage and Life

Latin name: Aulacaspis Yasumatsui Takagi

Appearances: Female Aulacaspis yasumatsui scales are white, 1.2 to 1.6 mm long, and have a wide range of shapes. They are usually pear-shaped, although they can sometimes be irregular, adapting to leaf veins, nearby sales, and other things. The male’s scale is white, elongate, and 0.5 to 0.6 mm long. The scale of Aulacaspis yasumatsui females appears to be similar to that of the magnolia white scale, Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli (Comstock), which is also found on cycads in Florida. Aulacaspis yasumatsui, on the other hand, has an orange bug body and eggs.

Host plants: This scale’s host range is limited to Cycas, Dioon, Encephalartos, Macrozamia, Microcycas, and Stangeria, though it appears to prefer Cycas.

Territory: Aulacaspis yasumatsui Takagi (Hemiptera: Diaspididae) is a cycad aulacaspis scale endemic to Thailand and Vietnam. It has been spreading over the world since the early 1990s, thanks to the trade-in cycad plants for decorative purposes. This scale can destroy cycads in a matter of months if it is infested.

Damage insect caused: Damage shows as chlorotic spots at first, but the majority of the fronds gradually turn dark and desiccate. The scales of live and dead insects are almost totally covered by a white crust on heavily infested cycads. Scale insects are constantly more abundant on the lower surfaces of leaflets than on the top surfaces, and in light infestations, they only occupy the lower leaf surfaces. Male scales are nearly always more numerous than female scales, despite the fact that male scales are less than half the length of female scales.

Life cycle and habits: Females go through three instars and need 28 days to mature from egg to adult. At 25°C, females can lay up to 100 eggs, which hatch in eight to twelve days. The majority of females do not live for more than 75 days. The cycad aulacaspis scale is unique in that it infests the roots of its host plant up to 60 cm deep in the soil. Only a few other armored scale insect species infest roots, and they’re mostly found near the soil’s surface.