Lepidosaphes tapelyi (Williams)
Common name: Guava long scale.
Taxonomic placing: Insecta, Hemimetabola, Hemiptera, Sternorrhyncha, Coccoidea, Diaspididae.
Geographical distribution: Africa, including Egypt.
Morphology: Female shield red-brown, elongated or twisted, dependent on the insects’ density, up to 2.5 mm in length, with the darker juvenile dorsal exuviae at the narrow end. Body pale-yellow, with lateral sclerotic spurs on the prepygidial segments. The two-barred dorsal macroducts arranged in transverse rows, the six pairs on the pygidium’s margin are larger. Perivulvar pores in five clusters, about 15-30 in two groups on either side of the anus. The fifth group, of about 10-15 pores, is placed below the anus. The shield of the winged male (if present) is pale-brown. The crawlers are white.
Host plants: This scale infests species in several crop genera, including Agave, Capsicum, Ceratonia, Citrus, Cocos, Eucalypus, Ficus, Lycopersicon, Mangifera, Psidium, Olea, Punica and Rosa.
Life history: The pest completed five annual generations when infesting guava (Psidium guajava L.) in Egypt. The overwintering females began to oviposit (an average of 20 eggs/female) in spring, continued to lay eggs until the warmer July and August, and resumed in late summer and autumn. The crawlers, which are the dispersing stage, may be transported by winds or by contact with animals. They settle mainly on the upper sides of leaves, preferring those exposed to the sun. Adult females lived for 2-4 months.
Economic importance: Lepidosaphes tapleyi is an importance pest of guava in Egypt. Heavy infestations caused leaf drop, poor quality fruit and weakened trees. In other countries The pest caused local damage to mango, sisal (Agave sislana Perrine) and to tomato.
Monitoring: Examination of the leaves of susceptible hosts for the elongate, mussel-shaped, reddish-brown pest scale.
Biological control: The aphelinids parasitoids Aphytis chrysomphali Mercet and Encarsia citrina (Crawford) attack the pest in Egypt.
El-Nahal, A.K.M., Awadallah, K.T. and Shaheen, A.A. 1980. Abundance and natural enemies of Lepidosaphes tapleyi Williams on certain ornamental plants in Giza and Zagazig regions (Hemiptera-Homoptera: Diaspididae). Bulletin of the Entomological Society of Egypt 60: 311-317.
Swailem, S.M. 1972. On the bionomics of the guava long scale, Lepidosaphes tapley Williams (Hemiptera: Homoptera: Diaspididae). Bulletin de la Société Entomologique d’Egypte 56: 163-170.
Swailem, S.M. 1973. On the seasonal occurrence of Lepidosaphes tapley Williams (Hemiptera: Homoptera: Diaspididae). Bulletin de la Société Entomologique d’Egypte 57: 67-72.
Tandon, P.L. and Lal, B. 1977. New records of insect pests of mango from India. Indian Journal of Horticulture 34: 193-195.
Williams, D.J. and Watson, G.W. 1988. The Scale Insects of the Tropical South Pacific Region. Part 1. The Armoured Scales (Diaspididae). CAB International, Wallingford, UK. 290 pp.