Vinsonia stellifera Minimize


July 2001. A pest of not just banana, but also guava, betel nut and many others plants in Pohnpei State, Federated States of Micronesia.

It was identified as Vinsonia stellifera, stellate scale. This is a tropicospolitan and polyphagous species often found in conspicuous numbers on the leaves of economically important trees and shrubs. Its distinctive appearance, as glassy 7-pointed stars with red centres, enables easy recognition. There is no published record of this species causing damage, but the honeydew produced can cause sooty mould growth on leaves which can reduce productivity. In Micronesia, this species has been recorded from Palau Is, Ponape, Yap, Truk, Pohnpei and Guam.

Members had not heard of biological control being used against this insect, but it certainly has hymenopteran endoparasitoids; they have been seen in the Maldives.