Leucaspis riccae

Leucaspis riccae Targioni Tozzetti

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

Common name: White olive scale.

Geographical distribution: Widely distributed in the Mediterranean Region and North Africa.

Host plants: Olive, Ephedra, Nerium, Ficus.

Morphology: All species of Leucaspis are pupillarial, the body of the female remaining within the whitish exuvium of the 2nd-stage nymph. The bodies of all stages, including the male, are purple, except before molting, when they are brownish. The shield is elongated, white-grey, about 2.1 mm long, with the darker dorsal exuvium of the 1st-stage nymph embedded at one end. The shield of the male is white, slightly curved, about 1.8 mm in length.

Life cycle: The white pine scale raises a single generation in the higher, cooler regions of Israel, two in the warmer areas. The crawlers initially settle along the margins and main vein of older olive leaves, later covering the entire upper surface; they rarely infest the lower side. As many as 150 scales may settle on a single leaf, and also occur on twigs and fruit.

Economic importance: This species is a major pest of olives in the Egyptian Western Desert. The feeding of the scales on olive fruits causes purple blemishes, inhibits fruit development and reduces their market value.

Management: No special measures, except removal of infested tree parts, are recommended at this time.

Biological control: The aphelinid parasitoid Aphytis coheni DeBach attacks the pest in western Egypt.


Moursi, K.S. and Hegazi, E.M. 1983: The olive-tree scale, Leucaspis riccae Targ. Hom., Diaspididae as a key pest of olive trees in a dry farm system in the Egyptian Western Desert. Bollettino del Laboratorio di Entomologia Agraria Filippo Silvestri 40: 119-124

Rosen, D. and Applebaum, S. 1962. The white olive scale. Hassadeh 42: 1215-1217 (in Hebrew).

Websites: https://www.google.co.il/search?q=leucaspis+riccae&biw=1536&bih=836&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0CBoQsARqFQoTCKiXzr6E2MgCFYFvFAodK1sPVA