Red Wax Scale
Ceroplastes rubens Maskell
(Hemiptera: Coccidae)

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The Red Wax Scale Ceroplastes rubens (Coccidae) has occurred only once in the history of PNG’s forestry, restricted to Bulolo only. Ceroplastes rubens, also affecting Citrus spp. releases large quantities of honey dew. The sooty-mould growing on these sweet secretions densely covers the surface of the needles so that the light absorption by the leaves is restricted resulting in defoliation and loss of height increment. Ceroplastes prefers particular clones of Pinus caribaea, but can be also found on other Pinus species. The infestation usually is more severe in the upper crown and less severe in the middle and lower parts of the crown.


Ceroplastes rubens scales on Pinus caribaea
(reproduced from Merrifield, L.E. and Howcroft, N.H.S., 1975)

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Michael F. Schneider, 1999