Pest of the Month February 2012 – Fiorinia phantasma

  • Hosts: Most commonly palms (coconut, Manila, areca, foxtail, and bottle palms) as well as kamani, shower tree, Ficus benjamina, maio, Madagascar olive, hala, mock orange, wax leaf privet, and traveler’s palm
  • Distribution: Philippines, Oahu, and Kihei/Wailea area of Maui
  • Description: Armored scale.  Adult females inconsistently show red stripes the width of the scale covering with some variations. Closely related to F. fioriniae, a similar looking scale already established in Hawaii.
  • Damage: Yellow blotches on the upper leaf surfaces of host plants.  Leaf drop as the population increases.
  • Control: Minor biological control from ladybeetles, green lacewing larvae, and a parasitic wasp.  Horticultural oil should be effective on crawler stage.  Systemic insecticides and growth regulators may be effective.

Source: Fiorinia phantasma Cockerell & Robinson, State of Hawai’i Department of Agriculture New Pest Advisory No. 11-01, November 2011.

Fiorinia phantasma. Photo courtesy Hawaii Department of Agriculture.