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Plantwise Technical Factsheet

mango scale (Aulacaspis tubercularis)

Host plants / species affected
Carica papaya (pawpaw)
Cinnamomum verum (cinnamon)
Cocos nucifera (coconut)
Cucumis (melons, cucuimbers, gerkins)
Cucurbita (pumpkin)
Cucurbita pepo (marrow)
Dimocarpus longan (longan tree)
Laurus nobilis (sweet bay)
Mangifera indica (mango)
Persea americana (avocado)
Pittosporum undulatum (Australian cheesewood)
Prunus (stone fruit)
Psidium (guava)
Zingiber officinale (ginger)
List of symptoms/signs
Fruit  -  discoloration
Fruit  -  external feeding
Fruit  -  lesions: black or brown
Leaves  -  abnormal colours
Stems  -  external feeding
Infested areas of mango leaves turn pale-green or yellow and ultimately die. Infested mango fruits have pink blemishes around feeding sites.
Prevention and control

Biological Control

The parasitoid Aphytis mytilaspidis, imported from Taiwan, was mass-reared and released in mango orchards in South Africa (Labuschagne and Pasques, 1994). The coccinellid predator Chilocorus nigrita has been mass-reared and released in mango orchards as a biological control agent against A. tubercularis and other scale insects, in South Africa (Schoeman, 1994).

Cultural Control

Post-harvest pruning is an effective control measure and also helps the penetration of chemical sprays through the tree canopy (Cunningham, 1989).

Chemical Control

Due to the variable regulations around (de-)registration of pesticides, we are for the moment not including any specific chemical control recommendations. For further information, we recommend you visit the following resources:

In South Africa, oil treatment sprays in October have been effective. The timing of oil sprays is important, as adverse effects such as reduced flowering, oil burns and fruit drop may occur if timing is incorrect (Brooks, 1992).

In Australia, Cunningham (1989) described the use of full-cover sprays on mangoes, in February-March when the trees are flushing, and again around September-October when the fruits are pear-sized.

Host-Plant Resistance

In Puerto Rico, Gallardo Covas (1993) found differences in susceptibility to mango scale in mango cultivars. The most heavily infested cultivar tested was Haden and the least heavily infested was Palmer.

Integrated Pest Management

Pesticide application in mango orchards resulted in high mortality of endemic parasitoids in South Africa (Labuschagne and Pasques, 1994). Labuschagne and Froneman (1992) described the use of two insect-growth regulators and found them to be as effective as the currently used pesticides, but with greater potential for integrated control due to their specificity.

A. tubercularis presents significant pest problems on mangoes in South Africa (Colyn and Schaffer, 1993). It is also a problem on mango in Australia, East and West Africa, North and South America and the Caribbean Islands (Peña et al., 1997). It injures the leaves and fruits, affecting the commercial value of the fruits and their export potential. Scale infection causes a conspicuous pink blemish on fruits. In nurseries, severe early-stage infestation retards growth. Young trees in fields are particularly vulnerable to excessive leaf loss and death of twigs due to scale, during hot dry weather.

Williams and Watson (1988) considered A. tubercularis as a potential pest of the South Pacific region, and emphasized the need for strict quarantine procedures.
Related treatment support
Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers
Kenya, Kengap Horticulture Ltd; CABI, 2012, English language
Pest Management Decision Guides
Michael, D. W.; Tsegay, M.; Lemma, H.; CABI, 2014, English language
External factsheets
PlantVillage disease guide, PlantVillage, English language
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