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Snout scale: a potential new pest for Florida citrus

The snout scale (Fiorinia proboscidaria) has been reported as a potential new pest for commercial citrus crops in Florida. First detected in Hillsborough County in 2013, it has since been found on residential citrus in five other counties. Although the snout scale is currently present in 20 countries worldwide, Florida is the only state in the U.S. where it has been discovered so far. While records indicate that the snout scale has been found on a variety of plant hosts, across 11 plant families, the majority of observations in Florida have been on citrus species.

Lower leaf surface infested with yellow immature, light brown adult female, and white adult male snout scale. Photo credit: Lily Deeter and Muhammad Z. ‘Zee’ Ahmed, FDACS-DPI.

 

These armored scale insects begin yellow in color during their immature stage, with mature females eventually turning light brown. The male snout scale is white due to its waxy coating produced for protection, with three distinct elevated longitudinal ridges.

Little is currently known about its general biology. Still, multiple life stages present on the underside of leaf surfaces may allude to frequent reproduction and potential problems for citrus growers year-round.

Feeding on plant sap via their piercing-sucking mouth parts, symptoms are presented as a chlorotic yellowing of the leaves, leading to overall reduction in plant health and vigor over time. With heavy infestation, plants may weaken and can become susceptible to injury and pressures from other pests and pathogens.

Symptoms presented as yellow, chlorotic patches on leaf surfaces. Photo credit: Lily Deeter and Muhammad Z. ‘Zee’ Ahmed, FDACS-DPI.

For more information on the snout scale, check out the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services-Division of Plant Industry’s (FDACS-DPI) Pest Alert publication.

If you suspect you have found snout scale or have questions or concerns regarding this pest, contact FDACS-DPI at 1-888-397-1517 or DPIHelpline@fFreshFromFlorida.com.

To submit a sample to FDACS-DPI for identification, use the available online form, following the instructions provided.