Ceroplastes rusci (Linnaeus)
Common name: Fig wax scale.
Geographical distribution: Many tropical and subtropical regions and throughout the Mediterranean basin. In Israel the scale is more abundant in the inner parts of the country. Commonwealth Institute of Entomology Map #373, 1993 (revised).
Morphology: The dark-red body (3-6 mm in length) of the female is covered by pinkish wax. The wax consists of a large median block and eight surrounding small blocks that are clearly separated in young females. With an average of 42 marginal spiracular setae on each side, these setae conical, with blunt apices; venter of body with only a few tubular ducts located between the antennae. Anal plates heavily sclerotized, regularly rounded.
Life history: The crawlers settle on leaves along the veins and on thin twigs. There are two annual generations, the first in May-June, the other during August-September. Reproduction is parthenogenetic, each female producing about 800-1500 eggs.
Economic importance: The fig wax scale is usually regarded as a minor pest of citrus and fig, whose damage is similar to that of the Florida wax scale, Ceroplastes floridensis Comstock. More recently it has extended its distribution and had become a more important pest of citrus. It produces more honeydew than C. floridensis, resulting in more sootymold. At times it is protected from various natural enemies by ants that forage for the honeydew. In Jordan it is an important pest of figs (Ficus carica L.).
Management: As in Ceroplastes floridensis.
Biological control: This pest is attacked by many endoparasitoids, of which Aprostocetus ceroplastae and Scutellista caerulea (formerly known as Scutellista cyanea) (Pteromalidae) were the most important. An entomopathogenic fungus, Alternaria sp.,killed about 75% of the scale eggs in Egypt.
Awamleh, R.A., Al-Antary,T.M. and Bilal, H.M. 2009. Survey of natural enemies of fig wax scale Ceroplastes rusci L. (Homoptera: Coccidae) and seasonal abundance of the parasitoid Scutellista caerulea Fonscolombe (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) in Jordan. Jordan Journal of Agricultural Sciences 5: 434-445.
Ben-Dov, Y. 1970. The wax scales of the genus Ceroplastes Gray (Homoptera: Coccidae) and their parasites in Israel. Israel Journal of Entomology 5: 83-92.
Pelizzari, G. and Camporese, P. 1994. The _ Ceroplastes_ species (Homoptera: Coccoidea) of the Mediterranean basin with emphasis on C. japonicus Green. Annales de Société Entomologique France (N.S.) 30: 175-192.
Morsi, G. and Mousa, F. 2004. Seasonal abundance of the fig wax scale insect, Ceroplastes rusci Linneus (Homoptera: Coccidae) and its parasitoids in Middle Egypt. Egyptian Journal of Biological Pest Control 14: 59-64.
Ragab, M.E. 1995. Efficiency of Scutellista cyanea Motsch (Hym, Pteromalidae) and Tetrastichus ceroplastae (Gir) (Hym, Eulophidae) in population suppression of Ceroplastes rusci L. (Hom, Coccidae). Journal of Applied Entomology 119: 627-630
- Shabana, Y.M. and Ragab, M.E. 1997. Alternaria infectoria, a promising biological control agent for the fig wax scale, Ceroplastes rusci (Homoptera
- Coccidae), in Egypt. Biocontrol Science and Technology 7: 553-564.