Hemispherical scale

Saissetia coffeae

Adult - Depending on the host plant, the adult scale may vary in size. The scale varies from 4.5 mm on Cycas to as small as 2.0 mm on Asparagus fern. Relatively hemispherical, brown, smooth, and shiny, the scale may resemble a miniature army helmet. Young females may have a pattern of ridges in the form of the letter "H" on the dorsal surface.

Damage: S. coffeae colonies extract large quantitites of sap, causing general host debilitation and build-up of sticky honeydew deposits on nearby surfaces. The honeydew may attract attendant ants. Sooty moulds grow on the sugary deposits. Badly fouled leaves may be dropped prematurely. The older insects present are usually quite easy to see as shiny brown domes on leaf undersides and stems.