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Karo felted scale - Eriococcus pallidus

By N A Martin
(2018)

Classification

Phylum:
Arthropoda
Class:
Insecta
Order:
Hemiptera
Superfamily:
Coccoidea
Family:
Eriococcidae
Scientific Name:
Eriococcus pallidus Maskell, 1885
  • Tan felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the upper side of a leaf of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the small sacs were made by males and the larger sacs were made by females. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Tan felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the upper side of a leaf of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the small sacs were made by males and the larger sacs were made by females. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Nymphs and young females of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), at the base of young leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note white wax spines. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Nymphs and young females of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), at the base of young leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note white wax spines. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
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Common Names

Karo felted scale, Pallid eriococcus
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Synonyms

Acanthococcus pallidus (Maskell, 1885)
Nidularia pallidus (Maskell, 1885)

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Biostatus and Distribution

This endemic scale insect lives on leaves and stems of many trees and shrubs. It is mainly found on indigenous (native) plants in native habitats and in parks. It is present in the North and South Islands.

Conservation status: A native species found mainly in native ecosystems on native trees and shrubs in the North & South Islands.

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Life Stages and Annual Cycle

Karo felted scale breed in spring and summer when there is new growth on host plants. There appears to be at least one generation per year with adult males being produced in spring and early summer. In Auckland, females with eggs and releasing crawlers, first instar (stage) nymphs were found in November. Nymphs and young females were found on young shoots in December and January. There may be a second generation later in the summer.

The tan coloured sacs of the male and females are found on leaves. The female sacs contain the mature mated female who lays eggs in a brood chamber in the sac. After they hatch from eggs, the first instar (stage) nymphs, walk to a young stem where they start to feed. The first instar nymph, often called a crawler, is like all the nymphal stages and the adult females being oval-shaped and having three pairs of legs and a pair of antennae. These stages also have a short rostrum on the underside of the head that holds the stylets used for feeding. The upper side of the body of these feeding stages have short dark setae develop longer white wax spines. When a nymph is fully grown it moults, their skin splits allowing the insect to grow a new and larger skin. There are three female nymphal stages and two male nymphal stages. When an adult female reaches a certain size it walks to a leaf and settles on either the underside or upper side, often near others. On the leaf it makes its felted sac. It is not certain whether it still feeds and if it is mates before or after making its sac.

The fully grown male second instar nymph also walks to a leaf and makes a sac in which it passes through two legless, non-feeding stages, a prepupa and a pupa. The moulted skins are pushed out the open rear end of the sac. The adult male has a pair of wings and while the body is hardening in the sac, it grows a pair of long white wax tails that help balance the male during flight. It walks over leaves and shoots looking for females with which to mate. It may also fly to other shoots and trees to find colonies Karo felted scale. The adult male does not feed.

Feeding
Adult females and nymphs of Karo felted scale have sucking mouthparts. Specially shaped long rods called stylets are used for feeding. Until used for feeding the tips of the stylets held in the short sheath-like rostrum. When it wishes to feed, the scale insect moves the tip of the rostrum onto the surface of the plant. The stylets are then gradually pushed into the plant. The stylets form two tubes, one down which saliva is pumped into plant cells and the second tube through which it sucks the contents of the plant cells. The insect inserts its stylets into the phloem, the plant vessels for transmitting sap from the leaves to other parts of the plant. The sap has a high volume of water and sugars, more than the insect needs. It excretes the excess water and sugar, which is called honeydew.

Walking, flying and dispersal
The nymphs and adult males and females retain legs and can walk. Fully grown females walk from their feeding site to a leaf on which to form a felted sac. The first instar, which is commonly called a crawler, is the main stage for dispersal. Most crawlers walk to a place on a plant stem where they settle to feed. Some crawlers disperse to other stems and branches. Some to other trees or shrubs; most long distance dispersal is by air. It is not known if crawlers of this species go to high points of the plant and stand up to catch the wind. Adult males have wings as well as legs. They can walk over leaves and stems in search of females with which to mate. They can also fly to nearby colonies, and may be carried further by wind.

  • One female and three male tan felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the upper side of a leaf of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    One female and three male tan felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the upper side of a leaf of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • A female Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), with the sac opened to expose the eggs on its underside. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    A female Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), with the sac opened to expose the eggs on its underside. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • A female Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on a leaf of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the first instar (stage) nymphs leaving the female sac. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    A female Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on a leaf of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the first instar (stage) nymphs leaving the female sac. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • A crawler, first instar (stage) nymph of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on a leaf of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    A crawler, first instar (stage) nymph of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on a leaf of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Nymphs and young female Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), at the base of young leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note white wax spines. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Nymphs and young female Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), at the base of young leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note white wax spines. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Nymphs and young females of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), at the base of young leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note white wax spines. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Nymphs and young females of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), at the base of young leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note white wax spines. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Nymphs and young females of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), at the base of young leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note white wax spines. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Nymphs and young females of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), at the base of young leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note white wax spines. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • A nymph of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), at the base of young leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the dark setae on its back. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    A nymph of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), at the base of young leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the dark setae on its back. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Side view of a nymph of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the stalk of a young leaf of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the dark setae on its back. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Side view of a nymph of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the stalk of a young leaf of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the dark setae on its back. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Nymphs and young female felted sac of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), around the stalk of a green fruit of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note white wax spines on some insects. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Nymphs and young female felted sac of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), around the stalk of a green fruit of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note white wax spines on some insects. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • A adult female Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on a fruit of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae) and shortly before making its felted sac. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    A adult female Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on a fruit of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae) and shortly before making its felted sac. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Tan felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the underside of leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the larger sacs were made by females some of which are about to start construction. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Tan felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the underside of leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the larger sacs were made by females some of which are about to start construction. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Tan felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the upper side of a leaf of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the small sacs were made by males and the larger sacs were made by females. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Tan felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the upper side of a leaf of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the small sacs were made by males and the larger sacs were made by females. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Male Karo felted scales, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the upper side of a leaf of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the pupal skins ejected from their sac by two males and the adult male. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Male Karo felted scales, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the upper side of a leaf of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the pupal skins ejected from their sac by two males and the adult male. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Adult male Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the upper side of a leaf of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the wings and pair of white wax tails. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Adult male Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the upper side of a leaf of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the wings and pair of white wax tails. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Adult male Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the upper side of a leaf of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the wings and pair of white wax tails. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Adult male Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the upper side of a leaf of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the wings and pair of white wax tails. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Adult male Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae): note the wings and pair of white wax tails. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Adult male Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae): note the wings and pair of white wax tails. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Adult male Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the underside of a leaf of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the wings and pair of white wax tails. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Adult male Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the underside of a leaf of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the wings and pair of white wax tails. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
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Recognition

Felted scale insects (Eriococcidae) require specialist skills for their identification. The felted sacs of Karo felted scale are typical of those of many felted scale insects. However, where Karo felted scale is the only species of Eriococcidae that forms sacs on leaves of a plant species, then the Karo scale insects can be recognised and identified. If young stems of a plant with male and female sacs are examined with the aid of a magnifying glass, the feeding nymphs and young females may be seen.

  • White and tan felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the upper side of leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the small pale sacs were made by males and the larger tan sacs were made by females. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    White and tan felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the upper side of leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the small pale sacs were made by males and the larger tan sacs were made by females. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • Tan felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the upper side of leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the small sacs were made by males and the larger sacs were made by females. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Tan felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the upper side of leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the small sacs were made by males and the larger sacs were made by females. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Tan felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the underside of leaves of Marble leaf, Carpodetus serratus (Rousseaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Tan felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the underside of leaves of Marble leaf, Carpodetus serratus (Rousseaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Nymphs and young female Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), at the base of young leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note white wax spines. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Nymphs and young female Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), at the base of young leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note white wax spines. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Nymphs and young female Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), at the base of young leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note white wax spines. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Nymphs and young female Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), at the base of young leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note white wax spines. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Nymphs and young female Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), at the base of young leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note white wax spines. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Nymphs and young female Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), at the base of young leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note white wax spines. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Nymphs and young female felted sac of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), around the stalk of a green fruit of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note white wax spines on some insects. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Nymphs and young female felted sac of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), around the stalk of a green fruit of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note white wax spines on some insects. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Young female Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), at base of leaf stalk of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note white wax spines. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    Young female Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), at base of leaf stalk of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note white wax spines. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
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Natural Enemies

Parasitoids and predators are known, but no pathogens of this scale insect have been reported.

Parasitoids
Unnamed parasitic wasps (Hymenoptera) have been reared twice from Karo felted scale.

Predators
Four species of ladybirds have been found feeding on Karo felted scale insects. Some feed on the scale insects in their felted sacs, while they all feed on the ‘naked’ insects. The naked insects may be preyed upon by birds and other predatory insects. The two endemic Rhyzobius species have different looking larvae and adults. The adult of Rhyzobius sp. A is black like many named and unnamed Rhyzobius species and is awaiting identification.

Table: Predators of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), from Plant-SyNZ database (27 January 2018). The reliability index shows the quality of evidence for the host association (0-10, 10=high quality).
Scientific NameCommon NameClassificationEnemy TypeReliability
Index
Biostatus
Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Mulsant, 1853Mealybug ladybird (Beetle)Coleoptera: Coccinellidaepredator10adventive
Rhyzobius acceptus (Broun, 1880)Karo felted scale ladybird (Beetle)Coleoptera: Coccinellidaepredator10endemic
Rhyzobius sp. A of Martin 2017Rhyzobius ladybird (Beetle)Coleoptera: Coccinellidaepredator7endemic
Serangium maculigerum Blackburn, 1892Citrus whitefly ladybird (Beetle)Coleoptera: Coccinellidaepredator9adventive
  • Side view of an adult parasitoid wasp (Hymenoptera) of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae): note the hairy antennae. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Side view of an adult parasitoid wasp (Hymenoptera) of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae): note the hairy antennae. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Three images of an adult parasitoid wasp (Hymenoptera) of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae): note the right image is of the underside of the wasp and note the clubbed antennae. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Three images of an adult parasitoid wasp (Hymenoptera) of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae): note the right image is of the underside of the wasp and note the clubbed antennae. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • An adult parasitoid wasp (Hymenoptera) on the sac of a female Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae): note the exit hole made by an adult wasp in a scale sac (bottom). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    An adult parasitoid wasp (Hymenoptera) on the sac of a female Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae): note the exit hole made by an adult wasp in a scale sac (bottom). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • An adult parasitoid wasp (Hymenoptera) of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae) on the underside of a leaf of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    An adult parasitoid wasp (Hymenoptera) of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae) on the underside of a leaf of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • The felted sac of a Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae) with an exit hole made by an adult parasitoid wasp (Hymenoptera). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    The felted sac of a Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae) with an exit hole made by an adult parasitoid wasp (Hymenoptera). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • The felted sac of a female Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae) with an exit hole being made by an adult parasitoid wasp (Hymenoptera). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    The felted sac of a female Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae) with an exit hole being made by an adult parasitoid wasp (Hymenoptera). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • The felted sac of a female Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae) with an exit hole being made by an adult parasitoid wasp (Hymenoptera). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    The felted sac of a female Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae) with an exit hole being made by an adult parasitoid wasp (Hymenoptera). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • A felted sac of a Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae) opened to show an adult parasitoid wasp (Hymenoptera). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    A felted sac of a Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae) opened to show an adult parasitoid wasp (Hymenoptera). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • A felted sac of a Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae) opened to show a pupa parasitoid wasp (Hymenoptera) (left) and two images of the pupa after removal from the scale sac. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    A felted sac of a Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae) opened to show a pupa parasitoid wasp (Hymenoptera) (left) and two images of the pupa after removal from the scale sac. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • The underside of an adult parasitoid wasp (Hymenoptera) of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae): note the hairy antennae. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    The underside of an adult parasitoid wasp (Hymenoptera) of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae): note the hairy antennae. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • The upper side of an adult parasitoid wasp (Hymenoptera) of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae): note the hairy antennae. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    The upper side of an adult parasitoid wasp (Hymenoptera) of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae): note the hairy antennae. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Larva of mealybug ladybird, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), feeding on Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Coccidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Larva of mealybug ladybird, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), feeding on Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Coccidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Larva of mealybug ladybird, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), feeding on Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Coccidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Larva of mealybug ladybird, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), feeding on Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Coccidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Larvae of citrus whitefly ladybird, Serangium maculigerum (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) on leaves with juvenile Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Larvae of citrus whitefly ladybird, Serangium maculigerum (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) on leaves with juvenile Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Larvae of citrus whitefly ladybird, Serangium maculigerum (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) on leaves with juvenile Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Larvae of citrus whitefly ladybird, Serangium maculigerum (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) on leaves with juvenile Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Larva of Karo felted scale ladybird, Rhyzobius acceptus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) on twig of Pittosporum crassifloium (Pittosporaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Larva of Karo felted scale ladybird, Rhyzobius acceptus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) on twig of Pittosporum crassifloium (Pittosporaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Larva of Karo felted scale ladybird, Rhyzobius acceptus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) with a male felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus, (Eriococcidae) on a leaf of Pittosporum crassifloium (Pittosporaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Larva of Karo felted scale ladybird, Rhyzobius acceptus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) with a male felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus, (Eriococcidae) on a leaf of Pittosporum crassifloium (Pittosporaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Prepupa of Karo felted scale ladybird, Rhyzobius acceptus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Prepupa of Karo felted scale ladybird, Rhyzobius acceptus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Side view of prepupa of Karo felted scale ladybird, Rhyzobius acceptus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Side view of prepupa of Karo felted scale ladybird, Rhyzobius acceptus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Pupa of Karo felted scale ladybird, Rhyzobius acceptus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Pupa of Karo felted scale ladybird, Rhyzobius acceptus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Side view of pupa of Karo felted scale ladybird, Rhyzobius acceptus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Side view of pupa of Karo felted scale ladybird, Rhyzobius acceptus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Karo felted scale ladybird, Rhyzobius acceptus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) about 2.5 mm long. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Karo felted scale ladybird, Rhyzobius acceptus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) about 2.5 mm long. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Side view of Karo felted scale ladybird, Rhyzobius acceptus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Side view of Karo felted scale ladybird, Rhyzobius acceptus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Larva of Rhyzobius ladybird, Rhyzobius sp. A (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) feeding on a Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus, (Eriococcidae) on a leaf of Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Larva of Rhyzobius ladybird, Rhyzobius sp. A (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) feeding on a Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus, (Eriococcidae) on a leaf of Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Larva of Rhyzobius ladybird, Rhyzobius sp. A (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) and Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus, (Eriococcidae) that have been fed on by a ladybird. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Larva of Rhyzobius ladybird, Rhyzobius sp. A (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) and Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus, (Eriococcidae) that have been fed on by a ladybird. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Larva of Rhyzobius ladybird, Rhyzobius sp. A (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), a predator of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus, (Eriococcidae) on a leaf of Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Larva of Rhyzobius ladybird, Rhyzobius sp. A (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), a predator of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus, (Eriococcidae) on a leaf of Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Larva of Rhyzobius ladybird, Rhyzobius sp. A (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), a predator of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus, (Eriococcidae) on a leaf of Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Larva of Rhyzobius ladybird, Rhyzobius sp. A (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), a predator of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus, (Eriococcidae) on a leaf of Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Larva of Rhyzobius ladybird, Rhyzobius sp. A (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), a predator of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus, (Eriococcidae) on a leaf of Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Larva of Rhyzobius ladybird, Rhyzobius sp. A (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), a predator of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus, (Eriococcidae) on a leaf of Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Larva of Rhyzobius ladybird, Rhyzobius sp. A (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) and Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus, (Eriococcidae) that have been fed on by a ladybird. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Larva of Rhyzobius ladybird, Rhyzobius sp. A (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) and Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus, (Eriococcidae) that have been fed on by a ladybird. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Pupa of Rhyzobius ladybird, Rhyzobius sp. A (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), a predator of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus, (Eriococcidae): note the large quantity of white wax at both ends. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Pupa of Rhyzobius ladybird, Rhyzobius sp. A (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), a predator of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus, (Eriococcidae): note the large quantity of white wax at both ends. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Pupa of Rhyzobius ladybird, Rhyzobius sp. A (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), a predator of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus, (Eriococcidae): note the large quantity of white wax mainly on the old larva skin. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Pupa of Rhyzobius ladybird, Rhyzobius sp. A (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), a predator of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus, (Eriococcidae): note the large quantity of white wax mainly on the old larva skin. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Pupa of Rhyzobius ladybird, Rhyzobius sp. A (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), a predator of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus, (Eriococcidae): note the small quantity of white wax on the old larva skin. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Pupa of Rhyzobius ladybird, Rhyzobius sp. A (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), a predator of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus, (Eriococcidae): note the small quantity of white wax on the old larva skin. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Adult Rhyzobius ladybird, Rhyzobius sp. A (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), a predator of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus, (Eriococcidae): note the large quantity of white wax on the old larva skin and the pupal skin. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Adult Rhyzobius ladybird, Rhyzobius sp. A (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), a predator of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus, (Eriococcidae): note the large quantity of white wax on the old larva skin and the pupal skin. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
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Host Plants

Karo felted scale live on the stems and leaves of many trees and shrubs. The feeding stages are found on young stems often at the base of leaves. The mature females and the fully grown second instar males move to leaves on which to settle and form their felted sacs.

There is one record from a fern that needs to be confirmed.

Feeding and honeydew
Like other Hemiptera, Karo felted scale insects have sucking mouth parts. The long stylets, special shaped rods, are held in a short rostrum on the underside of the body. When the insect wishes to feed the stylets are then gradually pushed into the plant. The inner pair of stylets, form two tubes, one through which saliva is injected into the plant and a second through which plants juices are sucked up into the insect. The Karo felted scale inserts its stylets into the phloem, the plant vessels for transmitting sap from the leaves to other parts of the plant. The sap has a high volume of water and sugars, more than the insect needs. It excretes the excess water and sugar, which is called honeydew.

Table: Host plants of the Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae) from Plant-SyNZ database (12 February 2018). The reliability score shows the quality of evidence for the host association (1-10, 10=high).
Common Name(s)Scientific NameFamilyReliability IndexBiostatus
Black tree fern, Black mamaku, Korau, Mamaku, Pitau, KatātāCyathea medullaris (G.Forst.) Sw.Cyatheaceae10indigenous, non-endemic
Wineberry, Mako, MakomakoAristotelia serrata (J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.) W.R.B.OliverElaeocarpaceae10endemic
Marble leaf, Motorbike tree, Kaiwētā, Piripiriwhata, Punawētā, Putaputawētā, PutawētāCarpodetus serratus J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.Rousseaceae10endemic
Tree coprosma, Mamangi, MāmāngiCoprosma arborea KirkRubiaceae10endemic
Thin leaved coprosma, AruheCoprosma areolata CheesemanRubiaceae10endemic
Miki, Mingi, MingimingiCoprosma propinqua A.Cunn. var. propinqua A. Cunn.Rubiaceae8endemic
Glossy karamu, Kākaramū, Kākarangū, Karamū, Kāramuramu, KarangūCoprosma robusta RaoulRubiaceae10endemic
Broom, Atlas broomCytisus sp.Leguminosae7naturalised
Red pine, Amoko, Puaka, RimuDacrydium cupressinum Sol. ex G.Forst.Podocarpaceae10endemic
Sticky hop-bush, ake, Ake rautangi, AkeakeDodonaea viscosa Jacq. subsp. viscosa Jacq.Sapindaceae10indigenous, non-endemic
New Zealand mahogany, Kohe, Kohekohe, Koheriki, Kohepi (flowers), Kohepu (flowers), Māota (flowers)Dysoxylum spectabile (G.Forst.) Hook.f.Meliaceae10endemic
ElaeagnusElaeagnus x reflexa C.Morren & Decne.Elaeagnaceae10naturalised
Hangehange, Hīnau, Pōkākā, WhīnauElaeocarpus dentatus (J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.) VahlElaeocarpaceae10endemic
Mahimahi, Pōkākā, Puka, WhīnauElaeocarpus hookerianus RaoulElaeocarpaceae10endemic
EscalloniaEscallonia sp.Escalloniaceae7unknown
Silk tassel bushGarrya elliptica Douglas ex Lindl.Garryaceae10cultivated
Pigeonwood, Kaiwhir, Kaiwhiria, Kōporokaiwhiri, Pōporokaiwhiri, Pōporokaiwhiria, Porokaiwhiri, Porokaiwhiria, PoroporokaiwhiriaHedycarya arborea J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.Monimiaceae10endemic
New Zealand honeysuckle, RewarewaKnightia excelsa R.Br.Proteaceae10endemic
Dwarf mistletoeKorthalsella lindsayi (Oliv.) Engl.Santalaceae10endemic
Pukatea, PuketeaLaurelia novae-zelandiae A. Cunn.Atherospermataceae10endemic
Mairehau, MāireireLeionema nudum (Hook.) Paul G.WilsonRutaceae10endemic
Mangeao, Mangeo, Tangeao, TangeoLitsea calicaris (Sol. ex A.Cunn.) Benth. & Hook.f. ex KirkLauraceae10endemic
Poataniwha, TātakaMelicope simplex A.Cunn.Rutaceae10endemic
Whiteywood, Hinahina, Inaina, Inihina, Māhoe, Moeahu, KaiwetaMelicytus ramiflorus J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.Violaceae10indigenous, non-endemic
White rata, RātāMetrosideros diffusa (G.Forst.) Sm.Myrtaceae10endemic
Scarlet rata, Vine rata, Aka, Akakura, akatawhitawhi, Akatawhiwhi, Amaru, Kahika, Kāhikahika, Rātā, RātāpikiMetrosideros fulgens Sol. ex Gaertn.Myrtaceae10endemic
Clinging rata, Small white rata, Aka, Akatea, Akatorotoro, Koro, Torotoro, WhakapiopioMetrosideros perforata (J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.) A.Rich.Myrtaceae10endemic
Myoporum sp.Scrophulariaceae7unknown
Red mapou, Red matipo, Māpau, Māpou, Mataira, Matipou, Takapou, Tāpau, TīpauMyrsine australis (A.Rich.) AllanPrimulaceae10endemic
ToroMyrsine salicina Heward ex Hook.f.Primulaceae10endemic
Cottonwood, TauhinuOzothamnus leptophyllus (G.Forst.) Breitw. & J.M.WardCompositae10endemic
Kaikaro, Karo, KīhihiPittosporum crassifolium Banks & Sol. ex A.Cunn.Pittosporaceae10endemic
Mihimihi, Toro, Toru, TotoToronia toru (A.Cunn.) L.A.S.Johnson & B.G.BriggsProteaceae10endemic
  • Tan felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the underside of leaves of Marble leaf, Carpodetus serratus (Rousseaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Tan felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the underside of leaves of Marble leaf, Carpodetus serratus (Rousseaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Tan felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the underside of leaves of Tree coprosma, Coprosma arborea (Rubiaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Tan felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the underside of leaves of Tree coprosma, Coprosma arborea (Rubiaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Tan felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on leaves of Mairehau, Leionema nudum (Rutaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Tan felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on leaves of Mairehau, Leionema nudum (Rutaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Pale felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on underside of leaf of Rewarewa, Knightia excels (Proteaceae): note that another species of felted scale has tawny coloured female sacs on leaves of Rewarewa. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Pale felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on underside of leaf of Rewarewa, Knightia excels (Proteaceae): note that another species of felted scale has tawny coloured female sacs on leaves of Rewarewa. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Tan felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on leaves of Red mapou, Myrsine australis (Primulaceae): note that another species of felted scale lives in the axils of small stems of Red mapou. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Tan felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on leaves of Red mapou, Myrsine australis (Primulaceae): note that another species of felted scale lives in the axils of small stems of Red mapou. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • White and tan felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the upper side of leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the small pale sacs were made by males and the larger tan sacs were made by females. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    White and tan felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the upper side of leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the small pale sacs were made by males and the larger tan sacs were made by females. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • Tan felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the upper side of leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the small sacs were made by males and the larger sacs were made by females. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Tan felted sacs of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), on the upper side of leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the small sacs were made by males and the larger sacs were made by females. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Tan felted sac of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), in a groove on a green fruit of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the naked female scale may be about to spin its sac. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Tan felted sac of Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), in a groove on a green fruit of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note the naked female scale may be about to spin its sac. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
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Information Sources

Hoy JM. 1962. Eriococcidae (Homoptera: Coccoidea) of New Zealand. New Zealand Department of Scientific and Industrial Research Bulletin. 146: 1-219.

Plant-SyNZ: Invertebrate herbivore-host plant association database. plant-synz.landcareresearch.co.nz/

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Acknowledgements

The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited (Plant & Food Research) for permission to use photographs.

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Other Images

  • Nymphs and young female Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), at the base of young leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note white wax spines. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Nymphs and young female Karo felted scale, Eriococcus pallidus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), at the base of young leaves of Karo, Pittosporum crassifolium (Pittosporaceae): note white wax spines. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
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Suggested Citation

Martin NA. 2018. Karo felted scale - Eriococcus pallidus. Interesting Insects and other Invertebrates. New Zealand Arthropod Factsheet Series Number 125. http://nzacfactsheets.landcareresearch.co.nz/Index.html. Date Accessed. ISSN 1179-643X.

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