Fiorinia phoenicis

Fiorinia phoenicis Balachowsky

Common name: Fiorinia date scale.

Taxonomic placing: Insecta, Hemimetabola, Hemiptera, Sternorrhyncha, Coccomorpha, Coccoidea, Diaspididae.

Geographical distribution: Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Spain.

Morphology: The female of Fiorinia phoenicis is pupillarial, the female’s body remaining within the exuvium of the 2nd-stage nymph. The female shield is mussel-shaped, brown, the nymphal exuvium is pale-yellow. The anterior spiracles with 2-6 pores, posterior spiracles with none. The pygidium with 1-5 median perivulvar pores, 8-15 in each anterior group, 10-18 in each posterior group, and 4 well-developed, lateral macroducts on each side. Only the median pair of lobes present.

Host plant: Date palm.

Life history: The pest occurs on date palm fronds all the year, raising 3-4 annual overlapping generations. Its populations peak in autumn, decreasing to lower numbers in winter and increasing in the spring and summer. They prefer to settle on the basal part of fronds.

Economic importance: In some areas of Egypt F. phoenicis has become a key pest of date palms, having replaced Parlatoria blanchardi. Large pest populations settling on the fronds and fruits cause the yellowing of pinnae and fronds, affecting the yield. Infested dates are downgraded or become unmarketable.


Biological control: Pteroptrix aegyptica is an important enemy (causing around 40% parasitism) in Egypt.


Attia, A.R. 2013. Abundance, distribution and some biological aspects of the aphelinid parasitoid, Pteroptrix aegytica Evans and Abd-Rabou on date palm leaflet at Giza Governorate, Egypt. Egyptian Journal of Pest Control 23: 145-150.

Balachowsky, A.S. 1967. Une espèce nouvelle de Fiorinia [Coccoidea-Diaspidini] vivant sur palmier-dattier dans les oasis du sud de l’Iran. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France (n.s.) 3: 771-775.

Elwan, E.A., El-Sayed, M.I. and Serage, A.M. 2011. Seasonal activity of Fiorinia date scale, Fiorinia phoenicis Balachowsky (Hemiptera – Diaspididae) on date palm at Giza governorate, Egyptian Journal of Agricultural Research 89: 549-565.

Hassan, N.A., Radwan, S.G. and El-Sahn, O.M.N. 2012. Common scale insects (Hemiptera:Coccoidea) in Egypt. Egyptian Academy Journal of Biological Sciences. 5: 153-160.

Radwan, S. 2012. Seasonal fluctuations of fiorinia date scale, Fiorinia phoenicis Balachowsky (Hemiptera: Diaspididae) trees at Qalubyia Governorate, Egypt. The Journal of Basic & Applied Zoology 65: 47-54.

Seljak, G. and Matile-Ferrero, D. 2012. First record of Fiorinia phoenicis Balachowsky, 1967, in Europe (Hemiptera, Diaspididae). Bulletin de la Société Entomologique de France 117: 453-455.