Issue No. 440
Syngamia florella (Stoll) is a common moth native to Florida and the Southeastern United States. Specimens are frequently submitted as regulatory samples, probably because of the attractive wing pattern. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry (FDACS-DPI) received 134 samples of adult moths between the years 2007–2018, only two of which were reared; most are caught in various fruit-fly traps. The caterpillars feed on low-growing plants in the family Rubiaceae, and the immature stages are seldom collected. Syngamia florella is related to several other spilomeline crambids, such as Desmia Westwood and Mecyna Doubleday, that also feed on Rubiaceae. Plants of the Rubiaceae family are predicted to be the normal hosts.
Issue No. 439
Fiorinia phantasma Cockerell & Robinson (Diaspididae: Hemiptera), phantasma scale, is a significant pest of nursery plants, particularly of ornamental palms. The scale has been transported to new localities by movement of live nursery stock (Ahmed and Miller 2018). It was first found in the Philipine Islands in 1915 (Cockerell and Robinson 1915). In the last decade, it had a major global expansion and is now known in 22 countries and territories (American Samoa, France, French Polynesia, Grenada, Guam, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Nauru, the Netherlands, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Reunion, Saint Martin, St. Barthelemy, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Taiwan, Thailand, United States and Vietnam) (Ahmed and Miller 2018).
Issue No. 438
Chrysomphalus bifasciculatus Ferris (Hemiptera: Diaspididae), false Florida red scale, was first found in California in 1938 (Ferris 1938). Since then, it is known in 12 U.S. states (Alabama, California, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia), two of which border Florida. It is also reported from several countries in Asia and South America (García et al. 2016). The first Florida sample (E2017-4531-1) was collected by Mary Jane Echols, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry (FDACS-DPI), from cast-iron plant, Aspidistra elatior Blume (Liliaceae), on November 28, 2017, from Macclenny, Baker County, Florida. More samples (E2018-153-1) from the same host plant species in the same area were collected on January 12, 2018, confirming that the host plants were locally grown and had not been imported from out of the state, and that this scale species was established in Florida.
Issue No. 437
Melanaspis leivasi Costa Lima (Hemiptera: Diaspididae) is known from Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico and Panama (Lepage and Giannotti 1943; Deitz and Davidson 1986), and is not known to occur in the United States. There are two species of Melanaspis, obscure scale, M. obscura (Comstock), and gloomy scale, M. tenebricosa (Comstock), which are considered to be serious pests of landscape trees in Florida. We therefore consider M. leivasi to have the potential to be a pest of concern in Florida.