Encyrtus lecaniorum

Encyrtus ssp.

Encyrtus is a sturdy black parasitic wasp, more than 3 mm wide, with two distinctive spines on its back. It looks like an ant and also behaves somewhat like an ant. Only females occur, males are very rare. Soft scales that are parasitized by Endurtus turn gray black with a brown ring. The young adult hatches through a circular hole at the end of the soft scale.

Mode of action:

The parasitoid lays its eggs in immature but already big stages of hemispherical scale (Saissetia coffeae) and brown soft scale (Coccus hesperidum). The soft scale needs to be still gray-colored. Whenever they have become adult and turned brown the soft scales are too old and too hard to parasitize. The female lays at least 30 eggs during her lifetime, one per soft scale. The generation time is about 4 weeks. Adult wasps feed themselves by puncturing younger soft scale stages and suck them.  Young soft scales will be killed because of this host feeding.


Encyrtus may be used in greenhouses and in plantations against hemispherical scale (Saissetia coffeae) and against brown soft scale (Coccus hesperidum). They are most effective at low pest densities and this product is very suitable to introduce at the beginning of the season. They will settle themselves relatively easy, one  introduction may be enough. Also suitable in situations where soft scales are visited and protected by ants. Optionally, combine with a different product (eg. Metaphycus spp) that parasitizes small stages of soft scale. The product is sensitive to chemical pesticides.

Effect of Encyrtus

  • parasitizes bigger stages of soft scales
  • only females present, males rare
  • 30 eggs per female, 1 per soft scale
  • establishes easily
  • host feeding on small stages
  • relatively tolerant towards ants

The product Encyrtus

transparent tube of 40 ml containing 25 adult parasitoids

Shelf Life:
maximum 2 days at 10-15°C.

Tolerant towards humidity level; temperature must exceed 18°C on regular basis