Scale (Hemispherical scale) Saissetia coffeae
Species: S. coffeae
Binominal name: Saissetia coffeae
Common name: Hemispherical scale
Saissetia coffeae is an exotic, adventive, polyphagous species of hemispherical scale. It is a pest of exotic and native plants and is found on their stems and underside of their leaves. It is found in urban plants and within native forests. It is found throughout the North Island and most of the South Island.
The body of the adult female is 2-3 mm long, hemispherical, hard, shiny, red-brown shell. The body of an immature female is flat, yellow-brown, with three dorsal ridges resembling the letter H, which disappear at maturity.
Saissetia coffeae reproduce by parthenogenesis (no males). The female lays 500-2500 eggs in a cavity beneath her shell. As the female lays her eggs, her body mass shrinks, forming a brood chamber underneath where the eggs hatch into a mass of pinkish-coloured crawlers. The number of generations varies from one to six per year depending on the medium and infected plant. S. coffeae prefers humid and dry environments, but cannot grow to more than 30 ° C. be optimal at 28 ° C, cycle lasted 52 days and then produce more eggs.
Colonies of S. coffeae extract large amounts of sap which produces a great weakening of the plant and can attract ants by their secretions.
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