Macadamia felted coccid

Eriococcus ironsidei

It gets its name from the felt-like sacs which enclose adult females and pupal cases of males. Adult females do not have wings and are immobile. Adult males have wings and are gnatlike, but do not feed. Their only purpose is to locate and mate with immobile females. Mated females deposit eggs within their felted sac. After hatching, tiny crawIers move about and are able to disperse by wind or by hitchhiking on birds, people, vehicles, or farm equipment to other areas. After settling down, individuals feed by inserting their needle-like mouthparts into plant tissue and removing sap. The MFC also excretes droplets of a sugary substance called honeydew which drop on lower branches.

Damage: The MFC infests all above-ground parts of trees. It distorts and stunts new growth and causes yellow spotting on older leaves. Severe infestations can cause dieback. On bearing trees, nut yields are reduced and a delay is caused in the fall of mature nuts.

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