White wax scale

Ceroplastes destructor

he mature scales, which are found on the twigs, are all females and their protective white or greyish-white waxy covereings may reach 10mm long by 7mm high.  Each is capable of laying approximately 1,000 eggs, which look like grains of very fine sand and are easily seen because they are brigh pink.

Damage: C. destructor attacks the leaves, branches and stems of host plants, affecting vigour and growth. A large number of young crawlers can be seen on the leaves when the eggs hatch, but these do not persist. They usually settle on the leaf surface along midribs or leaf petioles. Once the crawlers settle down, they start secreting white wax. Gimpel et al. (1974) described in detail the process and shapes of the wax produced by wax scales and C. dectructor produces its wax in a similar way. After 3-4 days of settlement, the dorsal wax pad appears as a thin, white marking. The wax rays gradually appear around the body margin. The insects move from their original settlement site to the twigs at the beginning of the third instar. At this stage, the wax builds up like a cone and, when more wax is secreted, the late third instar attains its characteristic oval shape. The adults are completely covered with white wax in irregular shapes.