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Potential sugarcane pest in Florida: Pulvinaria sp.

A new scale in the genus Pulvinaria was collected from sugarcane in Homestead, FL. The specimen is not similar to any of the six Pulvinaria species which already occur in Florida, which prompted further investigation into the identification of the scale. It was discovered that the specimen is similar to a Pulvinaria species from China, P. bambusicola. If it is determined that this is a new invasive scale, it could potentially cause significant damage to sugarcane.

Adult females are oval in shape, white in color, and lack an obvious ovisac. Check out this DPI Pest Alert for pictures of the scale that was collected in Florida and more information on its status. If you think you might have this scale in your sugarcane, contact the UF Insect Identification Lab.