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Exotic Scale Species

2011 Research

This project has two main goals. First, we are working to establish colonies and mass rear some of the exotic scale species that are coming into California on shipments of fresh avocados from Mexico. We are also doing studies on the biology of these scales because little or no information is available, even for parameters as basic as how many generations a year they are likely to have, and how many offspring females produce, and the longevity of males and females.

Before February 2007, avocados from outside the U.S. were not allowed entry into California. However, after these import restrictions were lifted, the CDFA detected several species of armored scale insects on avocados imported from Mexico that were not known to occur in California nor in some cases, anywhere in the U.S.

February 2007, avocados from outside the U.S. were allowed into California for the first time. During the first months of importation, CDFA inspectors at the border between Arizona and California found several species of armored scale insects on avocados imported from Mexico, that were not known to occur in California nor anywhere in the U.S.

Between 1914 and 2007, a quarantine protected California avocado groves from pests that might be introduced into the state along with fresh, imported avocados. Soon after Mexican avocados were first allowed entry on 1 February 2007, live specimens of several species of armored scales (Family

Between 1914 and 2007, a quarantine protected California avocado groves from pests that might be introduced into the state along with fresh, imported avocados. Soon after Mexican avocados were first allowed entry on 1 February 2007, live specimens of several species of armored scales (Family Diaspididae) not believed to be present in California were detected on Hass avocados entering the state from Mexico.

The California avocado industry is threatened by a number of exotic avocado pests that are being introduced into California on an ongoing basis by imports of fresh avocados from Mexico. These include a number of weevils, scales, and several lepidopteran pests. This project focuses on developing pheromone-based methods of detection for the exotic scale species, with two main goals. First, we are establishing colonies of the various exotic scale species, collected from avocado shipments as they come into California, to provide insects for study.

2010 Research

Dothiorella canker has been shown to be caused by various species of Botryosphaeria (4) as well as Diaporthe spp. (5). Therefore, the name “Dothiorella” canker is outdated and will be replaced in this report with the name “branch and trunk canker”.

 

Before February 2007, avocados from outside the U.S. were not allowed entry into California. However, after these import restrictions were lifted, the CDFA detected several species of armored scale insects on avocados imported from Mexico, that were not known to occur in California nor in some cases, anywhere in the U.S. The detection of these scales on the fruit was not deemed to be important by USDA-APHIS because they determined that scale insects on fruit in general pose a low risk of population establishment (this is in contrast with scale insects found on imported plants).

 

Between 1914 and 2007, a quarantine protected California avocado groves from pests that might be introduced into the state along with fresh, imported avocados. Soon after Mexican avocados were first allowed entry on 1 February 2007, live specimens of several species of armored scales (Family Diaspididae) not believed to be present in California were detected on Hass avocados entering the state from Mexico.

This project has two main goals. First, we aim to establish colonies and mass rear exotic scale species that are coming into California on shipments of fresh avocados from Mexico, to provide insects for study. Second, we will use the colonies to identify the sex pheromones of the various species, so that the pheromones can be developed for use as sensitive detection tools for detection of these species if they become established in California.

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