Fern scale

Fern scale Pinnaspis aspidistrae

Males from fern scale Pinnaspis aspidistrae differ greatly from females. The scale cover of females is about 2 mm. wide, brown, transparent and mussel-shaped. The scale cover of males is elongated in shape, white in color and has 3 long ribbons. The scale cover or more actually the cocoon of males is in general smaller than the scale cover of the females. When full grown adult males crawl out of the cocoon; they are very small winged insects looking for an adult female to mate. Eggs remain in the female's body; As soon as they get out, the young crawlers crawl away from the mother's scale cover and find themselves a suitable place to settle, often rather close to their mother. There they will stay for the rest of their lives. They scarcely spread. Often, fern scales are found quite close together as a group. Fern scale occurs on upper as well as lower side of leaves and on leave axils. In Dutch greenhouses 2 species of scales are found that are closely related to fern scale: Pinnaspis strachani and Pinnaspis buxi.

Damage from fern scale:

Fern scale can occur locally in large numbers, usually on the underside of leaves. From the top you often see only yellow spots in the leaf; Sometimes malformation of growing leaves or leaflets occurs. In case of severe infestation leaves and later whole plants can be sucked empty and eventually die due to the presence of the scale.

Pinnaspis aspidistrae

life cycle of fern scale:

  • Development time 30-45 days
  • Female produces 50 - 100 eggs
  • Female lives 2-3 months
  • Mature male lives for several hours

host plants fern scale:

  • mainly ferns
  • Dracaena
  • Cordyline
  • Citrus


Chilocorus nigritus:

C. nigritus

Encarsia citrina:

E. citrina