Forest Pest Insects in North America: a Photographic Guide

Florida red scale

Chrysomphalus aonidum (L.) (Hemiptera: Diaspididae)

Orientation to pest

Florida red scale, Chrysomphalus aonidum (L.), is an Asian scale invasive in the United States. It is one of the most polyphagous insects known, recorded from 70 families of plants. It is most often reported on agricultural or ornamental plants but occurs in natural vegetation as well. The scale feeds on foliage, producing yellow areas. Heavy infestations may cause foliage to drop.

Hosts commonly attacked

Citrus (Citrus), holly (Ilex), and palms are the more commonly affected groups of plants.


The U.S. distribution of this scale is from North Carolina, south and west to Texas, as well as Hawaii. It is common in greenhouses throughout the country. It is also common in most tropical and subtropical parts of the world, including Puerto Rico.

Images of Florida red scale

Florida red scale on dragontree United States National Collection of Scale Insects Photographs Archive, USDA Agricultural Research Service, 768x512 / 1536x1024
Florida red scale on citrus leaf Pedro Torrent Chocarro, Bugwood.org768x512
Florida red scale on an orange Pedro Torrent Chocarro, Bugwood.org768x512
Figure 1. Florida red scale, Chrysomphalus aonidum, on dragontree
(Dracaena marginata Lam.) (left) and on citrus leaf (right)
Figure 2. Florida red scale on an orange

Important biological control agents related to this pest species

This scale has been the focus of parasitoid introductions in Texas and Florida. The aphelinid Aphytis holoxanthus DeBach from Israel has provided substantial control in both locations.

Web links for information on Florida red scale