Red Was Sclae – Cerocsplastes rubens

Red Was Scale – Cerocsplastes rubens

Common Name: Red Was Scale

Latin Name: Cerocsplastes rubens


  • Adult female C. Rubens are coated in a firm, pink/pale red wax coating.
  • They are roughly 3-4 mm long with this covering, rounded and smooth in form, with a depression on top and two lobes on each side.
  • They feature two types of stigmatic setae (bullet-like and hemispherical) and two pairs of setae between the antennae.
  • This species’ eggs are brick red. Crawlers, the first nymphal instar, feature three pairs of legs, two eye spots, and one pair of antennae.
  • Later nymphal instars, like the adult female, are covered in wax. However, their polish is originally white.

Host plant:     

Citrus, custard apple, longan, mango, avocado, a variety of natural shrubs, and exotic ornamentals.


It is native to Australia but has spread to other regions such as New Caledonia, Japan, China, Poland, and the United States.

Damages caused by Red Was Scale:

Damage occurs in two ways directly via eating and indirectly through the accumulation of sooty mold fungus on the surface of the leaves, which reduces photosynthesis. Both activities can damage plants, resulting in leaf loss, dieback, and death. Although direct damage is usually limited, the scale is a severe pest of citrus in numerous areas due to sooty molds that impair quality. Similarly, the dirty look of beautiful plants makes them appear unpleasant and reduces their horticultural value.

Life history and habits:

The eggs are brick red, and the female stores them in a hole under her body after depositing them. Crawlers with three pairs of legs, two eye spots, and paired antennae hatch from the eggs. The crawlers molt and settle down, inserting their proboscis to begin sucking sap. The wax starts white and gradually becomes pink.

The scale has two generations per year. Crawlers of the first generation emerge from mid-September to early December, depending on the temperature, but primarily from mid-October to mid-November. The second generation of crawlers emerges from February until late April.