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Ceroplastes rusci L.
Insecta, Homoptera, Lecaniidae .

Fig-tree scale

Description, Biology, Life Cycle, Damage, Common Names, Images

- Adult female: C. rusci is an scale insect with a thick globular scale measuring 4-5 mm x 3-4 mm. The shield is formed by 8 brown fused plates (*) . The insect possesses piercing-sucking mouthparts.
- Adult male: cefore its emergence the male occurs under a white elongated scale. It is a mobile winged insect without any wax protection. Maximaum wongspan between 0.75 and 1.00 mm.
- Egg: oval, at first ochrous, later of a rusty or cinnamon colour. They remain under the female scale after the oviposition period. Measurements: 0.32 x 0.23 mm.
- Nymph:.
-1st instar: ovoid, red-rusty in colour, measuring 0.47 x 0.23 mm. A few days after emergence nymphs develop a protective, white waxy layer on their backside.
-2nd instar: the waxy layer becomes thicker and larger.
-3rd instar: sex differentiation occurs, emergence of both sexes being preceded by a quiescent period.

- fig, is the preferred host there being in Portugal about 20 other host plants. Ceroplates rusci can be found in the littoral areas of that country where fig trees are most frequent.
- After mating with the winged males adult females lay between 750 and 900 eggs during their whole lifetime, the daily rate being between about ten to several hundred.
- Nymphs appear after 3-4 weeks, 3 instars occurring before adulthood.

[R]Life Cycle
One or two generations per year may occur in Portugal, two being the rule on the southern coast. First-generation egg-laying starts in May continuing until the end of June; that of the second generation, in the south, taking place in July-August.
Nymphs migrate all over the host plant and one week later colonize the leaf veins. The overwintering generation is composed of 2nd-instar nymphs that attach themselves to the fig shoots where they remain until the following spring.

Ceroplastes rusci causes the weakening and even death of leaves and shoots (*) (*) .
Sooty fungal film which interferes with photosynthesis usually grows on the excreted honeydew.
Fresh honeydew serves as food for the Argentine ant (Iridomyrmex humilis May) an aggressive enemy of all the predators and parasites of C. rusci.

[R]Common Names
DE: Feigenschildlaus ES: Cochinilla de la higuera FR: Céroplaste du figuier IT: Cocciniglia del fico PT: Lapa da figueira GB: Fig-tree scale

[R] Images

  1. Ceroplastes rusci (L.) (Gambier J. / INRA Antibes)
    Female scales on fig
  2. Ceroplastes rusci (L.) (Bénassy C. / INRA Antibes)
    Colony on twig of fig
  3. Ceroplastes rusci (L.) (Bénassy C. / INRA Antibes)
    Damage on fig
  4. Ceroplastes rusci (L.) Adults and larvae (Bernard J.-F. / INRA Maroc)

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