Scale, oil palm, Solomon Islands Minimize

May 2015. A scale insect covering oil palms seeds in a plantation in Solomon Islands. To the untutored eye of a plant pathologist it is like Aspidiella hartii. It is not doing any damage to the fruits, and is more a curiosity than anything else. But there are enormous concentrations on a few bunches, turning them into large snowballs from a distance.

Gillian Watson, Plant Pest Diagnostics Branch, California Department of Food & Agriculture has agreed to look at specimens sent to her. It is definitely not Aspidiella hartii! That is not known on oil palm.

Later, Gillian Watson wrote, I’ve just put some females onto slides, and your armoured scale insect on Elaeis sp. appears to be Pinnaspis strachani (Cooley), which has been recorded from Solomon Is., Guadalcanal before.