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Coccus hesperidum Linnaeus

Soft brown scale
[Coccus hesperidum]. L: immature and young adult females. R: two adult females and immature females.

[Coccus hesperidum]. L: immature and young adult females. R: two adult females and immature females.

Linnaeus named this specieshesperidum in 1758.

Status in New Zealand: an exotic (adventive) species, first recorded here in 1879. Soft brown scale has been found on almost every kind of plant except grasses. It is an important pest of citrus and ornamentals, but is usually kept under reasonable control by natural enemies. It is recorded on 35 exotic plants and 22 native plants here. It is the most widespread of soft scales in New Zealand, with a range from The Kermadec Islands, throughout the North and South Islands and to the Chatham Islands.

Biology: three to five generations per year. Soft brown scale is usually parthenogenetic  and there are no males. It attacks leaves and twigs, and is associated with large amounts of honeydew resulting in thick coatings of sooty mould.

Found on the stems and underside of leaves of:

I. Exotic plants:
[chinese lantern], Actinidia deliciosa [kiwifruit], Aralia, Alternanthera philoxeroides [alligator weed], Bouvardia sp., 'broom', Citrus, Cucurbito maxima [pumpkin], Cymbidium [orchid], Dendrobium [orchid], Dianthus sp., Fatsia sp., Ficus sp. [fig], Gardenia, Hedera sp. [ivy], Hibiscus tiliaceus, Ilex sp. [holly], Laurel, Luculia sp., Malus x domestica [apple], Medicago sativa [lucerne], Persea americana [avocado], Phalaenopsis [orchid], Phlox, Pinus radiata [pine], Poncirus trifoliata [citrus rootstock], Prostanthera cuneata [Australian mint bush], Prunus armeniaca [apricot], Prunus avium [cherry], Prunus laurocerasus [chery laurel], Prunus persica var. nucipersica [necatarine], Prunus salicina [japanese plum], Ribes nigrum [black currant], Rosemary, Rubus x [loganberry], Sollya heterophylla [Australian blue bells], Vitis vinifera [ grapevine]

II. Native plants:
Beilschmiedia tawa [tawa], Blechnum fraseri, Brachyglottis bellidioides, Brachyglottis repanda [rangiora], Carmichaelia [native broom], Coprosma acutifolia, Coprosma sp., Corokia sp., Cyathea sp. [tree fern], Myoporum laetum [ngaio], Olearia nummularifolia [shrub daisy], Olearia traversii, Pimelia sp., Pittosporum sp., Pratia physaloides, Pseudopanax crassifolius [lancewood], Pseudopanax lessoni [houpara], Pseudopanax sp., Senecio sp., Solanum aviculare [poroporo], Tecomanthe speciosa, Vitex lucens [pūriri].