n African Entomology - South African cycads at risk : (Hemiptera: Coccoidea: Diaspididae) in South Africa




The scale insect is native to Southeast Asia and a major pest of cycad (Cycadales) plants. Due to an increase in worldwide trading of cycads, has spread globally and has become a major threat to many cultivated and native cycads worldwide. In this study we report formally, for the first time, infesting cycads in South Africa. This scale insect was observed infesting cycads in three provinces in South Africa, namely, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo. Its identification was based on morphology and nucleotide sequences of three gene regions. Although more common and damaging on non-native species, its presence on some native South African species is of concern and effort should be made to control the spread and impact of this pest in the country.


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