Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli (Cooley): Magnolia White Scale


California Pest Rating for
Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli (Cooley): Magnolia White Scale
Hemiptera: Diaspididae
Pest Rating:  A

 Initiating Event:

Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli is frequently intercepted by CDFA and requires a pest rating proposal to support its pest rating.

History & Status:

BackgroundPseudaulacaspis cockerelli is a highly polyphagous armored scale insect that is a pest of many ornamental plants in the nursery industry1.  The scales live on the upper and lower leaf surfaces and green stems of plants2.  Infestations can cause loss of vigor, spots on foliage, deformation of infested plant parts, loss of leaves, and may lead to death of plants2.  Known hosts include: Actinidiaceae: Actinidia spp.3,4; Adoxaceae: Viburnum sp.3,4; Agavaceae: Yucca sp.3; Amaryllidaceae: Agapanthus sp.3,4, Eurycles sp.3,4; Anacardiaceae: Anacardium occidentale3,4, Campnosperma brevipetiolata3,4, Mangifera indica3,4, Mangifera sp.3,4; Annonaceae: Annona squamosa3,4, Artabotrys hexapetutus3, Canangium odoratum3,4; Apocynaceae: Adenium sp.3,4, Allamanda sp.3,4, Alyxia olivaeformis3,4, Calotropis gigantea4; Nerium indicum3,4, Nerium oleander3,4, Nerium sp.3,4, Plumeria acuminata3,4, Plumeria acutifolia3,4, Plumeria sp.3,4, Thevetia peruviana3,4, Trachelospermum asiaticum3,4, Trachelospermum jasminoides3,4, Trachelospermum sp.3,4, Willughbeia sp.3,4; Aquifoliaceae: Ilex cinerea3, Ilex crenata3,4, Ilex integra3,4, Ilex latifolia3,4, Ilex sp.3,4, Ilex viridis3; Araceae: Acorus gramineus3,4, Alocasia sp.3,4, Philodendron sp.3,4; Araliaceae: Fatsia japonica3,4, Hedera canariensis3,4, Hedera helix3,4, Hedera rhombea3,4; Arecaceae: Archontophoenix alexandrae3,4, Areca catechu3,4, Areca sp. 3,4, Arecastrum romanzoffianum3,4, Arenga engleri3,4, Butia capitata3,4, Caryota sp. 3,4, Chamaerops humilis3,4, Chrysalidocarpus dictyospermi3,4, Chrysalidocarpus lutescens3,4, Chrysalidocarpus sp. 3,4, Clinostigma savoryana3,4, Clinostigma sp. 3,4, Cocos nucifera3,4, Cocos sp. 3,4, Corypha elata3,4, Elaeis sp. 3,4, Howeia sp. 3,4, Livistona sp. 3,4, Neodypsis baroni3,4, Nipa fruticans3,4, Phoenix roebelenii3,4, Rhapis humilis3,4, Sabal mexicana3,4, Seaforthia sp. 3,4, Serenoa repens3,4, Trachycarpus sp. 3,4; Asclepiadaceae: Calotropis gigantean3; Asparagaceae: Asparagus sp. 3,4, Dracena sp.4, Yucca sp.4; Asteraceae: Helianthus annuus3,4, Helianthus sp. 3,4, Pyrrhopappus carolinianus3,4; Berberidaceae: Nandina domestica3,4; Bignoniaceae: Tabebuia pentaphylla3,4; Bromeliaceae: Bromelia sp. 3,4, Vriesea sp. 3,4; Burseraceae: Canarium album3; Buxaceae: Buxus sp. 3,4; Cannaceae: Canna generalis3,4; Caprifoliaceae: Viburnum arboricolum3,4; Viburnum awabuki3,4, Viburnum odoratissimum3,4, Weigela sp.3,4; Caricaceae: Carica papaya3,4; Celastraceae: Euonymus sacrosancta3,4, Schaefferia sp. 3,4; Clusiaceae: Calophyllum inophyllum3,4; Combretaceae: Terminalia catappa3,4; Cornaceae: Aucuba japonica3,4, Cornus controversa3,4, Cornus florida3,4; Crassulaceae: Bryophyllum sp. 3,4; Cycadaceae: Cycas circinalis3,4, Cycas revoluta3,4, Cycas sp. 3,4, Zamia floridana3,4, Zamia sp. 3,4; Daphniphyllaceae: Daphniphyllum sp. 3,4; Ebenaceae: Diospyros lotus3,4, Diospyros sp. 3,4; Elaeocarpaceae: Elaeocarpus decipiens3,4, Elaeocarpus photiniaefolius3,4; Ericaceae: Chimaphila maculata3,4, Rhododendron sp. 3,4; Euphorbiaceae: Aleurites moluccana3,4, Aleurites sp. 3,4, Bischofia javanica3,4, Daphniphyllum glaucescens3,4, Daphniphyllum macropodum3,4, Daphniphyllum teijsmanni3,4, Euphorbia humistrata3,4, Excoecaria orientalis3,4, Hevea brasiliensis3,4, Hevea sp. 3,4, Jatropha hastata3,4, Sapium sebiferum3,4; Fagaceae: Lithocarpus sp. 3,4; Garryaceae: Aucuba sp. 3,4; Gnetaceae: Gnetum luofuerise3; Hamamelidaceae: Liquidambar formosana3,4; Heliconiaceae: Heliconia sp. 3,4; Hemerocallidaceae: Dianella sp.3; Hippocastanaceae: Aesculus turbinate3; Hydrangeaceae: Deutzia scabra crenata3,4; Iridaceae: Iris sp. 3,4, Moraea bicolor3,4; Lardizabalaceae: Akebia lobata3,4, Akebia quinata3,4, Akebia trifoliate3,4; Lauraceae: Machilus kobu3,4, Persea americana3,4; Lecythidaceae: Barringtonia speciose3,4; Liliaceae: Cordyline terminalis3,4, Dianella ensifolia3,4, Dianella montana3,4, Dianella tasmanica3,4, Liriope muscari3,4, Nolina sp. 3,4, Phormium tenax3,4, Sansevieria nilotica3,4, Yucca gloriosa3,4, Yucca recurvifolia3,4; Loganiaceae: Fagraea berteriana3,4; Loranthaceae: Dendrophthoe falcate3, Ettingsh sp.3; Magnoliaceae: Magnolia denudata3,4, Magnolia grandiflora3,4, Magnolia kobus3,4, Magnolia officinalis3,4, Magnolia soulangeana3,4, Magnolia sp. 3,4, Magnolia virginiana3,4, Michelia alba3,4, Michelia champaca3,4, Michelia compressa3,4, Michelia figo3,4, Michelia fuscata3,4, Michelia sp. 3,4, Schizandra chinensis3,4; Malvaceae: Hibiscus sp. 3,4; Marantaceae: Clinogyne virgata3,4; Melastomaceae: Melastoma sp. 3,4; Meliaceae: Aglaia odorata3,4; Moraceae: Ficus carica3,4, Ficus microcarpa3, Ficus pumila3,4, Ficus sp. 3,4, Ficus wightiana3,4, Morus alba3,4, Morus sp. 3,4; Musaceae: Musa paradisiaca3,4, Musa sp. 3,4, Strelitzia nicolai3,4, Strelitzia reginae3,4; Myristicaceae: Myristica fragrans3,4, Myristica laurifolia3,4, Myristica moschata3,4, Myristica sp. 3,4; Myrtaceae: Callistemon sp. 3,4, Eugenia3,4, Pimenta officinalis3,4, Syzigium eumini3; Oleaceae: Olea sp. 3,4, Osmanthus fragrans3,4, Syringa amurensis3,4; Pandanaceae: Pandanus odoratissimus3,4; Phyllanthaceae: Bischofia sp. 3,4; Poaceae Bambusa sp. 3,4; Podocarpaceae: Podocarpus nagi3,4;  Polygonaceae: Polygonum spp. 3,4; Pteridophyta: Adiantum sp. 3,4; Rhizophoraceae: Rhizophora mangle3,4, Rhizophora sp. 3,4; Rosaceae: Prunus padus3,4; Rubiaceae: Adina rubella3,4, Gardenia jasminoides3,4, Gardenia sp. 3,4, Ixora coccinea3; Ruscaceae: Dracaena sp.3; Rutaceae: Calodendrum spp. 3,4, Citrus sp. 3,4; Sarraceniaceae: Sarracenia purpurea3,4; Saxifragaceae: Deutzia sp. 3,4, Ribes sp. 3,4; Solanaceae: Capsicum annuum3,4; Strelitziaceae: Ravenala madagascariensis3,4, Strelitzia sp. 3,4; Symplocaceae: Symplocos ramosissima3,4; Taxaceae: Taxus cuspidata3,4, Taxus sp. 3,4, Torreya sp. 3,4; Theaceae: Camellia japonica3,4, Camellia oleifera3,4, Camellia sasanqua3,4, Camellia sinensis3,4, Camellia sp. 3,4, Eurya acuminata3,4, Eurya crenatifolia3,4, Eurya japonica3,4, Eurya strigillosa3,4, Thea sinensis3,4; Trochodendraceae: Trochodendron aralioides3,4; Ulmaceae: Aphananthe sp. 3,4; Verbenaceae: Stachytarpheta jamaicensis3,4; Xanthorrhoeaceae: Dianella sp.4; Uncertain: Zorisma ovalifolia3,4Pseudalacaspis cockerelli may be transported long distances when infested plants or fresh plant parts are moved.

Worldwide Distribution: Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli is probably native to Asia2.  From there it has spread throughout much of the world3,4.  It was first found in Hawaii in 18982 and Florida in 19421.  Within the continental United States it is now considered widespread in the Gulf States and Georgia1.

Official Control: Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli is listed as a harmful organism by Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, and Peru5.

California DistributionPseudaulacaspis cockerelli has not been found in the environment of California.

California InterceptionsPseudaulacaspis cockerelli is regularly found by CDFA’s high risk inspections, border stations, dog teams, and nursery inspections.  Between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2014 the scale was intercepted 2,187 times, typically on nursery stock and fresh plant parts from Florida and Hawaii.

The risk Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli (magnolia white scale) would pose to California is evaluated below.

Consequences of Introduction: 

1) Climate/Host Interaction: Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli is highly polyphagous and is likely to find suitable hosts throughout California and establish a widespread distribution in the state. It receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate if the pest would have suitable hosts and climate to establish in California.  Score:

Low (1) Not likely to establish in California; or likely to establish in very limited areas.

Medium (2) may be able to establish in a larger but limited part of California.

High (3) likely to establish a widespread distribution in California.

2) Known Pest Host Range: Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli feeds on hundreds of species of plants in at least 81 families.  It receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the host range of the pest. Score:

Low (1) has a very limited host range.

Medium (2) has a moderate host range.

High (3) has a wide host range.

3) Pest Dispersal Potential: Scale insects are capable of rapid reproduction and can be transported long distances when infested plants or fresh plant parts are moved.  They may also disperse locally by crawling, wind, or by hitchhiking on clothing, equipment, or animals.  Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the natural and artificial dispersal potential of the pest. Score:

Low (1) does not have high reproductive or dispersal potential.

Medium (2) has either high reproductive or dispersal potential.

High (3) has both high reproduction and dispersal potential.

4) Economic Impact: Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli is likely to reduce the value of nursery stock by disfiguring plants with its presence.  It is also likely to increase production costs by triggering new management programs.  The scale is also considered a quarantine pest by several of California’s trading partners.  Its presence in the state may disrupt markets for nursery stock and fresh fruit.  Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli receives a Medium (2) in this category.

Evaluate the economic impact of the pest to California using the criteria below. Score:

A. The pest could lower crop yield.

B. The pest could lower crop value (includes increasing crop production costs).

C. The pest could trigger the loss of markets (includes quarantines).

D. The pest could negatively change normal cultural practices.

E. The pest can vector, or is vectored, by another pestiferous organism.

F. The organism is injurious or poisonous to agriculturally important animals.

G. The organism can interfere with the delivery or supply of water for agricultural uses.

Low (1) causes 0 or 1 of these impacts.

Medium (2) causes 2 of these impacts.

High (3) causes 3 or more of these impacts.

5) Environmental Impact: Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli is likely to trigger additional treatment programs in the nursery industry and by residents who find infested plants unsightly.  The scale insect is also likely to significantly affect many ornamental plantings.  It receives a High (3) rating in this category.

Evaluate the environmental impact of the pest on California using the criteria below.

A. The pest could have a significant environmental impact such as lowering biodiversity, disrupting natural communities, or changing ecosystem processes.

B. The pest could directly affect threatened or endangered species.

C. The pest could impact threatened or endangered species by disrupting critical habitats.

D. The pest could trigger additional official or private treatment programs.

E. The pest significantly impacts cultural practices, home/urban gardening or ornamental plantings.

Score the pest for Environmental Impact. Score:

Low (1) causes none of the above to occur.

Medium (2) causes one of the above to occur.

High (3) causes two or more of the above to occur.

Consequences of Introduction to California for Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli (Magnolia White Scale):  High (14)

Add up the total score and include it here.

Low = 5-8 points

Medium = 9-12 points

High = 13-15 points

6) Post Entry Distribution and Survey Information: Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli has not been found in the environment of California and receives a Not established (0) in this category.

Evaluate the known distribution in California. Only official records identified by a taxonomic expert and supported by voucher specimens deposited in natural history collections should be considered. Pest incursions that have been eradicated, are under eradication, or have been delimited with no further detections should not be included.

Not established (0) Pest never detected in California, or known only from incursions.

Low (-1) Pest has a localized distribution in California, or is established in one suitable climate/host area (region).

Medium (-2) Pest is widespread in California but not fully established in the endangered area, or pest established in two contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

High (-3) Pest has fully established in the endangered area, or pest is reported in more than two contiguous or non-contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

Final Score

The final score is the consequences of introduction score minus the post entry distribution and survey information score: High (14)


Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli is frequently intercepted by CDFA.  Presumably, it enters California at other times undetected.  It is possible that it has been introduced and is established in some localities.  Alternatively, it could be failing to establish.

Conclusion and Rating Justification:

Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli has not been found in California and is expected to have significant economic and environmental impacts if it were to establish in the state.  An “A” rating is justified.


1 Hamon, Avas B. 2015. University of Florida Featured Creatures.  Common name: false oleander scale.

2 Tenbrink, Victoria L. and Arnold H. Hara. 1992.  Hawaii Crop Knowledge Master: Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli (Cooley).

3 SEL Catalog.

4 Miller, Dug, Yair Ben-Dov, Gary Gibson, and Nate Hardy.  ScaleNet.

5 USDA Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance & Tracking System (PCIT) Phytosanitary Export Database (PExD).

Responsible Party:

Jason Leathers, 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA, 95814, (916) 654-1211,[@]

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Pest Rating:  A

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