Cycad Aulacaspis Scale (CAS) Aulacaspis yasumatsui Takagi as a major pest of Sago Palm Cycas spp. in Nigeria

Abstract

Cycad aulacaspis scale (Aulacaspis yasumatsui Takagi) is native to the Southeast Asia specifically Thailand. Due to the trade in cycad plants for ornamental use in the world, it has been introduced widely in Asia, North America, the Caribbean, Europe, Pacific Islands, Ivory Coast and South Africa. Infestation by this scale can kill cycads in only a few months. Its introduction to these countries endangered the ornamental cycad-growing industry. In 2014, an introduced scale insect (Cycad aulacaspis scale) was discovered damaging cycads in a Bank premise, Port Harcourt. Survey was conducted on eight states (Cross River State, Rivers State, Abuja, Edo state, Akwa-Ibom state, Bayelsa state, Delta state and Lagos state) in Nigeria and report of severe damage was recorded. Management methods (cultural, chemical and biological) employed to manage the infestation proves ineffective as the scale insect was significantly seen three weeks after. The scale insect outnumbered their natural enemy tiny black lady beetle (Rhyzobius lophanthae) in these sampled locations and totally covers the entire plant within two months in a whitewashed scale-like appearance leading to chlorotic-yellow-brown leaves and eventual death of the plant. Therefore, this paper is aimed at reporting and creating awareness of the presence and outbreak of this insect pest (Aulacaspis yasumatsui Takagi) in Nigeria. Also, instant remedial measures should be taken to reduce the spread of this scale insect (Cycad aulacaspis scale) to other parts of Africa as to reduce the distribution of the scale insect on cycad species in this region.

Keywords: Cycad Aulacaspis scale, Damage, Infestation, Nigeria, Sago palm

Article Review Status: Published

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