Pinyon Needle Scale
Pinyon needle scales (Matsucoccus acalyptus) are very small (0.5 mm) sucking insects that feed on pinyon, singleleaf pinyon, and foxtail pines in the southwestern United States. Outbreaks of these native insects occur in both naturally occurring stands and ornamental plantings. The first noticeable sign of pinyon needles scale colonization is an overall thinning of the foliage leaving only tufts of needles at the branch tips (Figure 1). Repeated colonization weakens and frequently kills small trees. In addition, pinyon needle scale may predispose larger trees to colonization by other insects, primarily pinyon pine engravers (Ips confusus). Understanding the biology and behavior of these insects is critical to effective management.
Revised 12/2011. Originally published: 2003.AZ1315-2011
- forest health