Elongated Hemlock Scale – Fiornia externa

Elongate Hemlock Scale: Appearance, Territory, Damage and Life

Latin name: Fiorinia Externa

Appearances: This species’ waxy coverings can be seen on both the young cones and the lower needle surface. The adult female’s flattened, elongate, light yellow to brownish orange waxy coating is about 1.5 mm long. Underneath the waxy cover, eggs, and crawler stage, the mature female’s body is yellow. The male’s white, waxy cover is thinner. Adult males may resemble little wasp parasitoids when crawling on infected hemlock needles, according to close examination. Scales that are adults only have one set of wings. Waxy secretions from established crawlers can occasionally congeal into a mass of entangled strands. These waxy threads could be so numerous that they appear white on the lower surface of infected needles.

Host plants: In Massachusetts, eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) and Carolina hemlock (Tsuga Caroliniana), along with fir and spruce, are the main hosts of elongate hemlock scale (EHS). When those plants are cultivated next to an infested hemlock, they may also be discovered in cedar, Douglas fir, pine, and yew.

Territory: They were located in the United States in the south, in Georgia and South Carolina, in the west, in Ohio, Michigan, and Minnesota, and in the north, in southern New York and New England (including southern NH and ME).

Damage insect caused: Trees with severe infestations may have yellow spots or blotches on their needles, and their growth will be stunted. However, Fraser fir in western North Carolina rarely exhibits such characteristics. The male scale excretions, which are white and waxy, are more frequently observed on the upper surface of needles, particularly during the summer when males are maturing. Because of the white coating on the needles, infestations that do not slow down tree growth might nonetheless render trees unsellable. Trees must be scale-free before being shipped to foreign nations or states where the pest has not yet been discovered. This pest may also be regulated.

Life cycle and habits: Throughout the growth season, various life stages may exist. By the end of May or the beginning of June, crawlers emerge from beneath the female’s test (a waxy covering) and move to the underside of host plant needles, where they settle and feed with their piercing-sucking mouth parts. Males and females mature, and the wingless males then look for females who have reached sexual maturity. Under their hardened coverings, these mated females generate additional eggs, and several life stages may overwinter.