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scales? on cycad - Phoenicococcus marlatti

scales? on cycad - Phoenicococcus marlatti
Long Beach, Los Angeles County, California, USA
April 7, 2009
Size: tiny
I havn't had much luck with getting IDs for scales in the past, but lets try this one. First of all... are these even scales? Found in mass all over cycads which I *think* are Sago Palm but may be a similar species. A couple of internet searches have pointed me to various cycad infesting scales but none of them have convinced me yet. Also, there appear to be two different things (for lack of a better word) in this picture, the white things and the far less numerous red things. I'm wondering what those could be.

I can get a better picture and some close-ups tommorow when there is more sunlight.

Moved from Scales and Mealybugs. Thank you for the confirmation Dennis. This represents a new family for BugGuide.

Phoenicococcus marlatti
You are correct in your identification. Red Date Scale is found worldwide where dates are grown. The latest copy of the CDFA pest ratings manual list it as being "C" rated (or considered a common pest).

Amazing how unknowledgable about plants I was just two years, but the host is not sago palm (not even close). It is pygmy date palm, and the scale, I am fairly sure now, is Phoenicococcus marlatti, and represents a new family for BugGuide, Phoenicoccidae, if I'm right. I will attach additional close-up images.

Yes, scales. I suspect the red ones have simply had their wax coating rubbed off....I'd also e-mail your images to an entomologist at the California State Dept. of Agriculture. You could easily be documenting a "new" exotic pest. At the least, you'd be helping document the California distribution of whatever this is.

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