University of California

The introduced purple scale parasite, Aphytis lepidosaphes Compere, and a method of integrating chemical with biological control


Paul DeBach
John Landi

Authors Affiliations

Paul DeBach was Entomologist in the Department of Biological Control, University of California Citrus Research Center and Agricultural Experiment Station, Riverside; John Landi was Principal Laboratory Technician in the Department of Biological. Control, Unversity of California Citrus Research Center and Agricultural Experiment Station, Riverside.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 31(14):459-497. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v31n14p459. December 1961.

PDF of full article, Cite this article


Abstract does not appear. First page follows.


The purple scale, Lepidosaphes beckii (Newman), has long been recognized as one of the most serious pests of citrus on a world-wide basis. It exists and thrives over an extended geographical range in areas having similar mild, humid climatic conditions. It is common on citrus in the Far East, its presumed native home, and has been considered one of the most destructive citrus insects in parts of Australia, South America, Central America, various Mediterranean countries, South Africa, Mexico, Florida, the Gulf states, and California (Ebeling, 1959).4

The early records indicate that the purple scale was first found in Florida on lemons imported from Bermuda in 1857, and it is believed to have been introduced into California from Florida in 1889 in two carloads of orange trees which were subsequently planted in Los Angeles and Orange counties (Quayle, 1912).

By 1909, it occurred in all counties in which it is now known (Essig, 1909), and its early seriousness was attested by (C. C. Chapman (1909)) as follows: “If the associated growers at Fullerton had bought outright all those orchards which were first infected [sic], and had destroyed them utterly by fire—root and branch—it would not have cost them nearly as much as the purple scale is now actually costing them, each year. … The purple scale is the most unpleasant and the most difficult to handle of all citrus pests. It completely covers the tree—trunk, branches, and leaves—and hopelessly fouls the fruit. It defies all ordinary methods of fumigation, and can only

Literature Cited

Bumgardner R. J. 1958. 246: Purple scale in Orange County. Sunkist Pest Control Circ.

Chapman C. C. The purple scale at Fullerton. Claremont Pomological Club Proc. 1909. pp.4-5. Pages (March 22)

Clancy D. W., Muma Martin H. Purple scale parasite found in Florida. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1959. 52(5):1025-26.

Compere Harold. A systematic study of the genus Aphytis Howard (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae), with descriptions of new species. Univ. Calif. Publ. Ent. 1955. 10(4):271-320.

Compere Harold, Annecke D. P. Descriptions of miscellaneous reared parasitic Hymenoptera and comments (Aphelinidae, Encyrtidae, Eulophidae: Hymenoptera). Jour. Ent. Soc. S. Africa. 1960. 23(2):375-89.

DeBach Paul. The necessity for an ecological approach to pest control on citrus in California. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1951. 44(4):443-47.

DeBach Paul. Purple scale parasites in southern California. California Citrog. 1953. 38(6):219-22.

DeBach Paul. Application of ecological information to control of citrus pests in California. Tenth Internatl. Congr. Ent. Proc. 1958. 3:187-94.

DeBach Paul. The importance of taxonomy to biological control, as illustrated by the cryptic history of Aphytis holoxanthus n. sp. (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae), a parasite of Chrysomphalus aonidum, and Aphytis coheni n. sp., a parasite of Aonidiella aurantii. Ent. Soc. Amer. Ann. 1960. 53(6):701-5.

DeBach Paul, Bartlett Blair. Effects of insecticides on biological control of insect pests of citrus. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1951. 44(3):372-83.

DeBach Paul, Fisher T. W., Landi John. Some effects of meteorological factors on all stages of Aphytis lingnanensis, a parasite of the California red scale. Ecology. 1955. 36(4):743-53.

DeBach Paul, Landi John, Jeppson Lee. The integration of chemical control of mites with biological control of the California red scale. California Citrog. 1959. 13(7):12 15

Dobzhansky Theodosius G. Genetics and the origin of species. 1951. Third edition, revised New York: Columbia University Press. 364p. DOI: 10.2307/1439305 [CrossRef]

Ebeling Walter. Subtropical fruit pests. 1959. Univ. Calif. Div. Agr. Sci. Publ. 436p.

Essig E. O. A general account of the purple scale (Lepidosaphes beckii). Claremont Pomological Club Proc. 1909. pp.5-10. Pages (March 22)

Flanders Stanley E. An enemy of purple scale recently established in California. California Citrog. 1950. 36(1):64-65.

Flanders Stanley E. Another parasite of purple scale established in California. California Citrog. 1952. 37(6):234 256-57

Quayle Henry J. The purple scale. Calif. Expt. Sta. Bul. 1912. 266:319-40. DOI: 10.5962/bhl.title.59347 [CrossRef]

Quayle Henry J. Insects of citrus and other subtropical fruits. 1938. Ithaca, New York: Comstock Publishing Company. 583p.

Riehl L. A., Wedding R. T., Rodriguez J. L. Effect of oil spray application timing on juice quality, yield, and size of Valencia oranges in a southern California orchard. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1956. 49(3):376-82.

Riehl L. A., Wedding R. T., Rodriguez J. L. Timing oil spray on Valencias. California Citrog. 1957. 42(3):75 88

Rojas P., Sergio . Aphytis sp. X, enemigo natural de la “conchuela morada” de los citrus. Agr. Téc. Chile. 1954. 14(2):112-15.

Stern Vernon M., Smith Ray F., van den Bosch Robert, Hagen Kenneth S. The integration of chemical and biological control of the spotted alfalfa aphid. The integrated control concept. Hilgardia. 1959. 29(2):81-101. DOI: 10.3733/hilg.v29n02p081 [CrossRef]

DeBach P, Landi J. 1961. The introduced purple scale parasite, Aphytis lepidosaphes Compere, and a method of integrating chemical with biological control. Hilgardia 31(14):459-497. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v31n14p459
Webmaster Email: sjosterman@ucanr.edu