Pink wax scale

Ceroplastes rubens

A hard pink to pale red wax covering protects the adult female of pink wax scale. The scale is about 3-4 mm long, and globular and smooth in shape, with two lobes on each side and a depression at the top.

Adults and nymphs suck the sap of shoots, leaves and fruit stalks. Protein is the main component extracted from the sap, while the excess containing sugars is excreted. This sugary excretion from the scales, which covers the leaves, provides a medium for the growth of black sooty mould. The sooty mould reduces the amount of light available for photosynthesis in the leaves and spoils the appearance of fruit. Sooty mould is epiphytic and not parasitic.