Pineleaf Scale – Chionaspis heterophyllae

Pineleaf Scale (Chionaspisheterophyllae)

Common Name: Pineleaf Scale

Latin Name: Chionaspisheterophyllae


  • Adults: 5/64 inch; grey to black with oval shells
  • Immatures: crawlers (mobile stage) 3/64 inch; yellow-orange; no wingssimmatures:
  • Nymphs: Nymphs (sessile stage) look like adults but are much smaller.

Host plant:     

Pine (common in Austrian, Scotch, and mugo) and Douglas-fir

Damages caused by Pineleaf Scale:

Pine needle scales are long, white scales that feed on the needles. Under the covering, the scale is reddish-orange, containing rusty-coloured eggs. Trees that have been heavily infected may seem coated with white. Infested needles become yellow and ultimately brown.

Twigs and branches may be cut down. Repeated infestations may finally destroy trees. The Pine needle scale is frequently seen alongside the black pine leaf scale, which is grey to black rather than white. Ornamental pines, arborvitae, cedar, hemlock, spruce, and Douglas-fir are also infested by pine needle scale.

Life history and habits:

The insect overwinters as eggs beneath the female scale cover. The eggs hatch in May or June, and the reddish crawlers migrate to a new part of the host tree or are blown or carried to new hosts. One or two generations occur, depending on location. If there are two generations, second-generation crawlers are found by midsummer.