Scale

The pineapple scale, Diaspis bromeliea (Kerner), is likely to be found on pineapple leaves and fruit worldwide (Plate 24) (Waite, 1993). Frequently, it builds up on the crown of the developing fruit and, at harvest, the seed material may be heavily infested. Other hosts likely to be found in areas where pineapple is grown include species of Agave, Billbergia and Bromelia (Petty, 1978b). Unlike mealybugs, the immature and adult female stages of scale insects do not move around except in the crawler stage, which is responsible for dispersal of the insect (Beardsley and Gonzales, 1975). Adult male scales have wings but fly only to locate females for mating. The crawlers commonly disperse by active wandering and wind currents. The newly hatched crawlers emerge from underneath the protective scale covering of their mothers.

Seed material should be as clean as possible, because scale densities can increase to high numbers (especially if infested planting material is piled up) and desiccate the planting material, thereby making it unusable (Waite, 1993).

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