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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT & EVALUATION OF BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENTS FOR INVASIVE SPECIES THREATENING THE EVERGLADES & OTHER NATURAL AND MANANGED SYSTEMS

Location: Invasive Plant Research Laboratory

Title: New host and expanded geographic range of the stellate scale, Vinsonia stellifera (Westwood) (Hemiptera: Coccidae: Ceroplastinae)

Authors
item Blackwood, Jonathan
item PRATT, PAUL

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 15, 2007
Publication Date: June 15, 2007
Citation: Blackwood, J.S., Pratt, P.D. 2007. New host and expanded geographic range of the stellate scale, Vinsonia stellifera (Westwood) (Hemiptera: Coccidae: Ceroplastinae). Florida Entomologist. 90:413-414.

Interpretive Summary: The stellate scale, Vinsonia stellifera (Westwood), is a polyphagous wax scale with a distribution spanning across the tropics and subtropics of both the northern and southern hemispheres. This insect feeds on a wide range of plant taxa and can occur in high densities on a single plant. As a result, it has been deemed a potential threat to several economically important plants in Florida. We report the occurrence of the stellate scale both on a new host, Melaleuca quinquenervia (Myrtaceae), and in a new locality, on the island of New Providence of the Bahamas. Introduced for ornamental, revegetation and agroforestry purposes, M. quinquenervia has become invasive in south Florida, the Bahamas and Puerto Rico. While V. stellifera does not appear to be having an impact on this exotic tree, the coupling of V. stellifera and M. quinquenervia could heighten the risk that V. stellifera will achieve the numbers necessary to inflict impacts on other, native or economically important plants.

Technical Abstract: The stellate scale, Vinsonia stellifera (Westwood), is a polyphagous wax scale with a distribution spanning across the tropics and subtropics of both the northern and southern hemispheres. This insect feeds on a wide range of plant taxa and can occur in high densities on a single plant. As a result, it has been deemed a potential threat to several economically important plants in Florida. We report the occurrence of the stellate scale both on a new host, Melaleuca quinquenervia (Myrtaceae), and in a new locality, on the island of New Providence of the Bahamas. Introduced for ornamental, revegetation and agroforestry purposes, M. quinquenervia has become invasive in south Florida, the Bahamas and Puerto Rico. While V. stellifera does not appear to be having an impact on this exotic tree, the coupling of V. stellifera and M. quinquenervia could heighten the risk that V. stellifera will achieve the numbers necessary to inflict impacts on other, native or economically important plants.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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