Location: Systematic Entomology LaboratoryTitle: A key to the flat grass scale genus Nipponaclerda (Hemiptera, Coccomorpha, Aclerdidae
Submitted to: ZooKeys
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/8/2019
Publication Date: 7/9/2019
Citation: Schneider, S.A. 2019. A key to the flat grass scale genus Nipponaclerda (Hemiptera, Coccomorpha, Aclerdidae. ZooKeys. 862:81-87. https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.862.35294.
Interpretive Summary: In 2016, surveyors discovered large stands of dead or dying roseau cane in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, part of the Mississippi River Delta (MRD). This sparked concern due to the reeds’ importance to marsh ecosystems and coastal infrastructure. Losses of roseau cane in the MRD could have substantial, negative economic repercussions. Roseau cane is the dominant emergent plant in the MRD; it builds, maintains, and protects marsh soils and provides habitat for diverse wildlife. Dense stands of roseau cane help reduce wave action, which shields coastal regions from damaging storm surges and hurricanes. The marshes also shelter a network of shipping channels as well as oil and gas infrastructure in this region. Coinciding with the die-off of roseau cane was the discovery of a new invasive insect heavily infesting reeds, the roseau cane scale. This article provides an identification tool to recognize roseau cane scale and its close relatives, native to Central and East Asia. The tool will be useful for scientists, extension agents, and port identifiers, allowing for accurate identification of species from this group.
Technical Abstract: The flat grass scale genus Nipponaclerda comprises four species, native to Central and East Asia. Nipponaclerda biwakoensis has been introduced to the United States and is considered a serious pest of Phragmites australis, the common reed. Heavy infestations of N. biwakoensis in coastal marshes of Louisiana have coincided with extensive die-off of reeds. In this article, dichotomous identification keys to the genera of Aclerdidae and to the species of Nipponaclerda are provided, allowing for accurate identification of species found in the native and invasive range