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Monday, March 13, 2006

A Cottony Cushion Tableau

Cottony cushion scale (Icerya purchasi) is a pretty bad pest of citrus and other woody shrubs and trees in California gardens. When you notice it, the host stems are usually covered with nymphs in various growth stages exuding honeydew crowded in among females and their fluted white cottony egg sacs. In this little scene there is just one maturing scale (surely a female since males are rare and technically unnecessary since the females are hermaphroditic) and an empty egg sac suspended among the carolina cherry (prunus caroliniana) fruits.

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