July 1, 2020

Identity. Top of page. Preferred Scientific Name. Coccus hesperidum Linnaeus, Preferred Common Name. brown soft scale. Body broadly oval to round; flat to slightly convex in lateral view; body yellow- green to yellow-brown, usually with small brown flecks scattered on dorsum; body. Coccus hesperidum is common on many subtropical fruit trees (see Table ), but generally is not considered a dangerous pest because natural enemies.

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Coccus hesperidum is a soft scale insect in the family Coccidae with a wide host range. It is commonly known as brown soft scale.

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It has a cosmopolitan distribution and feeds on many different host plants. It is an agricultural pestparticularly of citrus and commercial greenhouse crops.

It retains cocucs legs and antennae throughout its life. Its cuticle is made of chitin but it does not produce the copious quantities of wax that armoured scales do. It is a pale yellowish-brown or greenish-brown colour with brown irregular speckles, and darkens with age. Male brown soft scale insects are rarely found.

The brown soft scale is polyphagousmeaning it feeds on many species of plants. It attacks a wide variety of crops, ornamental and greenhouse plants. In Hawaii, host plants include citrusloquatpapayarubber trees and orchids.

The brown soft scale is ovoviviparous and produces young by parthenogenesis.


Coccus hesperidum

Over the course of her life, the female may produce up to eggs, a few being laid each day. The eggs are retained inside the insect until they hatch, at which time small nymphs emerge and are brooded for a few hours before dispersing. These first-stage nymphs are known as crawlers and move a short distance from the mother before settling and starting to feed.

coccys They have piercing and sucking mouthparts and feed on the host plant’s sap. They are largely sedentary for the rest of their nesperidum and pass through voccus more nymphal stages before becoming adults. Males are occasionally produced and these pass through four nymphal stages before becoming winged adults. In order to obtain all the nutrients they need, the scale insects ingest large quantities of sap.

They then secrete the excess sugary fluid as honeydew. This is attractive to ants which often tend the scale insects, driving away predators. The brown soft scale does not normally kill the host plant, but the loss of sap probably causes it to grow more slowly and crop less heavily.

The main disadvantage to the host is the sooty mould which grows on the honeydew. This reduces hespeeridum area of leaf available for photosynthesisand spoils the appearance of the plant, its flowers and fruits. Traditionally, brown soft scale has been controlled by the use of pesticidesbut these have the disadvantage that other insects, friends and foes alike, are also killed.


Another approach in citrus is to eliminate ants from the trees, either by preventing the ants from climbing the trunks or by destroying their nests. This allows natural predators to flourish and keep the scale insects under control, although this may lead to an increase in the production of sooty mould. Fungicides can be used to prevent the sooty mould from taking hold. Alternatively, the use of such entomopathogenic fungisuch as Verticillium lecaniihas been successfully used under glass.

Scale Insects: Fact sheet

An alternative approach is integrated pest management in which the natural enemies of the scale insects are encouraged.

A further possibility is hfsperidum use of growth regulators such as the hormone hydroprene which disrupts the moulting of juvenile scale insects. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Coccus hesperidum Scientific classification Kingdom: Martin; Mau, Ronald F. Coccus hesperidum Hesepridum “. Retrieved from ” https: Scale insects Agricultural pest insects Citrus pests Orchids diseases and pests Insects described in Cosmopolitan arthropods.

Articles with ‘species’ microformats. Views Read Edit View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikispecies. This page was last edited on 22 Marchat By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Coccus hesperidum Linnaeus

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