Paratachardina pseudolobata (Coccoidea: Kerriidae): Bionomics in Florida

F. W. Howard, Robert Pemberton, Sibylle Schroer, Gregory Hodges

Abstract


The lobate lac scale, Paratachardina pseudolobata Kondo & Gullan, attacks large numbers of plants in Florida. The scales primarily infest the branches and main stems <2 cm in diameter; rarely were they found on stems that were larger than 4 cm in diameter or on leaves and never on roots. They produce honeydew, but ants did not tend the scales nor did ants appear attracted to the honeydew, which is ejected from the scale instead of being present in collectable droplets. Males have not been found in Florida populations of the lobate lac scale and females are parthenogenetic and ovoviviparous. The scales developed into adult females in 15–19 weeks. Crawlers of second generation were present 21 weeks after young crawlers of the previous generation were placed on a host plant. The pre-imaginal stadia were: first instar 8–11 weeks; second instar 7–8 weeks. The numbers of crawlers counted per month on host plants were notably uniform throughout the year, but there was evidence of a slight increase in crawler production during the warmer months. Lobate lac scales subjected to a simulated frost of -3°C had a low survival rate. In a test of survival without a host, one of 22 crawlers survived 14 d, and 3 of 32 survived 18 d. Based on the numbers of exit holes in mature female tests, the parasitism rate since this pest was found in Florida is not greater than 1%.

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