Leucaspis pusilla Low
Taxonomic placing: Insecta, Hemimetabola, Hemiptera, Sternorrhyncha, Coccomorpha, Coccoidea, Diaspididae.
Common name: White pine scale.
Geographical distribution: Widely distributed in the Middle East.
Host plants: Various pines.
Morphology: All species of Leucaspis are pupillarial, the body of the female remaining within the whitish exuvium of the 2nd-stage nymph. The yellowish shield of he 1st-stage nymph is embedded at the narrow end of the elongated shield. The pygidium bears plates and lobes, and it has no leg stubs.
Life cycle: The pest usually raises two annual generations, overwintering in the 2nd instar.
Economic importance: The occurrence of large numbers of the whitish shields of the scales on young pine seedlings can cause concern, as some needles may yellow and drop. The actual injury is often negligible, but in Italy the pest caused much damage in pine forests where trees weakened by abiotic or biotic factors.
Management: No special measures are recommended at this time.
Biological control: The aphelinid parasitoid Encarsia leucaspidis (Mercet) attacks the pest in Italy.
Gerson, U., Halperin, J., Shanouni, Y. and Eyal, O. 1976. The armoured scale insects (Homoptera: Diaspididae) on pines in Israel. La-Yaaran, 26: 12-16, 43-44 (in Hebrew with an English abstract).
Raspi, A.and Antonelli, R. 1989. Alcune note sulla Leucaspis pusilla Loew (Homoptera Diaspididae), parlatorino dannoso sui pini in Toscana. Frustula Entomologica 10: 127-152.