Giant pine scale

  • Underneath pine branch infested with giant pine scale
    Underneath pine branch infested with giant pine scale
  • Trunk of pine tree infested with giant pine scale
    Trunk of pine tree infested with giant pine scale

Have you seen 'Giant pine scale'?

Be on the lookout for 'common name' and report it to Biosecurity Queensland.

Early detection and reporting are the key elements in controlling 'common name'.Call Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.

Giant pine scale is a declared pest under Queensland legislation.

Scientific name Marchalina hellenica
Other names Giant pine scale
Description

Giant pine scale is a sap sucking scale insect of pines and other trees. The insect produces a covering of distinctive white, waxy, cotton-like secretions. It also produces large amounts of honeydew on which sooty mould can develop.

Females do not have wings and the winged males have rarely been seen. Infestations within plantations or trees closely planted together may be of higher risk, as the immature mobile stage (crawlers) of the scale insect could more easily move from tree to tree.

Long distance spread of giant pine scale is most likely to occur through the human assisted movement of plant material.

Habitat Giant pine scale prefers the lower parts of the tree and occurs mainly on the trunk. It may also be found in the canopy and on exposed roots.
Distribution

In Australia, giant pine scale has been found in the metropolitan areas of Melbourne and Adelaide. The pest has not been found in Queensland.

Lifecycle Giant pine scale females are able to reproduce without males and males are rarely seen.
Host

In Australia

  • Pinus halapensis (Aleppo pine)
  • Pinus pinea (stone pine)
  • Pinus radiata (Monterey pine).

Pinus radiata represents a new host record for the pest and as the pest is new to Australia, the host range may increase further.

Worldwide Giant pine scale affects spruce and fir trees as well as pine trees.

Detections worldwide are listed below:

Pines

  • Pinus brutia
  • Pinus kochiana
  • Pinus laricio tauricus
  • Pinus nigra salzmannii
  • Pinus sosnowskyi
  • Pinus sylvestris

Firs

  • Abies cephalonica
  • Abies nordmenniana

Spruces

  • Picea engelmanni
  • Picea orientalis

Similar species

Trees which may look similar to pines, spruces and firs, but are not known to be hosts of giant pine scale include cypresses and Araucaria, Allocasuarina, Casuarina and Callitris species.

Impacts
  • Environmental
  • Economic
  • Social

Large populations of giant pine scale cause defoliation, branch dieback and, in some cases, tree death. Pine tree death has primarily been observed in southern Greece and Crete, where large scale infestations have occurred.

In Italy and Turkey the pest has caused defoliation in urban and forest environments, but no tree deaths have been reported.

Natural enemies None Known
Control If you suspect you have seen giant pine scale, call Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23 or the National Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.
Status Exotic

Last updated 13 March 2015