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Pine Tortoise Scale

Albert (Bud) Mayfield, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bugwood.org
Toumeyella parvicornis (Cockerell) - Adult(s)       The Pine tortoise scale, gets its name from the characteristic appearance of the mature females. They look like tiny tortoises up to 1/4 inch in diameter and are most often found on 1- and 2-year-old shoots of "hard" pines. Scots pine and jack pine are the two species most severely attacked by pine tortoise scales, but red and Austrian pines are also affected.

Pine tortoise scale insects overwinter on host twigs as immature females. They are reddish brown and slightly wrinkled, but shiny, when they first begin to develop on the twigs. The females resume growth in the spring, reaching maturity in June. The, eggs are laid beneath the female's body (up to 500 per female!) and the amber-colored young scale crawlers begin to emerge in late June or early July. Males will die after mating, while females will develop until the cold temperatures of autumn force them into dormancy. These insects also produce honeydew, a substrate for the growth of a sooty mold fungus that blackens affected plants.

Pine tortoise shell scale infestations occur sporadically, and small populations are tolerable. However, as trees mature and their crowns begin to intermingle, opportunities for scale crawlers to spread to adjacent trees increase as do chances for more serious problems including reduced tree quality from feeding damage and sooty mold growth. 
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