Pine Oystershell Scale – Lepidosaphes pini

Pine Oystershell Scale ( Lepidosaphespini)

Common Name: Pine Oystershell Scale

Latin Name: Lepidosaphespini


  • Mature specimens have a waxy surface about 2.5 mm long, greyish brown, and significantly convex, like microscopic oyster shells.
  • This armoured scale forms on the bark of the host plant. Tiny white eggs are discovered behind the female’s waxy coating.
  • Crawlers are the life stages that hatch from eggs. This scale insect’s crawler stage is light yellow and less than one millimetre long.
  • Adult males have only one set of wings. Adult males are frequently misinterpreted as parasitoids while walking on infected twigs.

Host plant: 

It is reported that there are more than 130 host plants. But lilac Syringa spp., ash, Fraxinus spp., dogwood, Cornus spp., maple, Acer spp. Poplar and Populus spp. are the most commonly seen host plants                                                 


It appears across the United States, with northern states having a higher prevalence than southern states.

Damage caused by oystershell scale:

This scale insect damages plants by sucking plant juice from non-vascular cells with its piercing-sucking mouthparts. Branches eventually get coated with this armoured scale. Twig or branch dieback is prevalent when this bug is present. If a tree or shrub is not successfully maintained, it may die due to a severe infestation.

Life history and habits:

This species spends the winter as eggs beneath the waxy coating of females. According to the literature, one female may lay 20-100 eggs. These hatch into crawlers, the first instar nymphs, in late May to early June. This life stage briefly travels across the bark before settling down to eat. They eat until late summer or early fall when they attain maturity. Males have five developmental life stages beyond the egg, whereas females have three. Males emerge as adults, mate with females, and then die. Males are most active in late June and early July. Every year, just one generation is born.