Makell Scale – Lepidosaphes pallida
Makell Scale (Lepidosaphes pallid)
Common Name: Makell Scale
Latin Name: Lepidosaphes pallid
Adult males have wings and crawl or fly to mate with females. Male armored scales have no mouthparts and die soon after mating. Males are few. They are winged and have a dark red body and antennae.
Juniper species and cultivars are the most commonly reported host plants for Maskell scales. Arborvitae, Chamaecyparis, Cryptomeria, deodar cedar, cypress, Norfolk Island pine, and red cedar have also been collected.
Damages caused by Makell Scale:
Light infestations are hard to detect, so the scales are normally not observed until populations build and plants start declining. The fact that most creatures hide in the fascicles between the needles complicates matters for the black pine.
Life history and habits:
This is one of the armored scales that may be a significant pest of junipers; however other causes may be involved in this case. Female Maskell scale armour is brown, up to 1.5 mm long, and fashioned like an oyster shell. Male armor is smaller and slenderer but has the same hue. When there is an established armored scale population, it is not uncommon for most scales to be dead (Their armor adheres to the plant long after the insect dies). The biology of Maskell scales has received little attention. Females, without a doubt, lay eggs inside their armor. Depending on the conditions, eggs hatch 1 to 3 weeks later. Flat yellow crawlers (initial nymphs) emerge from the armor and move in search of a food source. They congregate on needles and emit thin, whitish tests (armor). Crawlers molt into second nymphs, then molt again after approximately a week. Females begin to deposit eggs for the next generation after around two months.