Insect identification > Homoptera > Scale insects > California red scale

California red scale

The California red scale (Chrysomphalus aurantii Mask.). - A serious pest of citrus trees in California. The female scale resembles the San Jose scale in outline but averages larger and the scale is transparent enough to allow the red body (yellow in a variety) of the insect to show through. The male scales are smaller and rather elongate.

The life history is similar to that of the San Jose scale, the young being born alive during the summer months.

Occasionally the lenticels or breathing pores through the bark of plant twigs resemble armored scales, particularly the more circular ones. To determine in any case whether a debatable structure on bark is a scale or only a lenticel, it may be scraped with the fingernail.

If it can be removed without breaking the bark (it may whitish mark), the object is a scale; but if the bark is necessarily torn or broken to get it off, it may be assumed that it was a lenticel.