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Oystershell Scale
(Extension, Purdue University)
Common Name: Oystershell Scale

Order: Homoptera

Family: Diaspididae

Pest Status: Oystershell scales can damage many species of trees and shrubs as the insects colonize them and begin sucking out plant juices.

Appearance: Adults are about 1/8-inch long, gray-brown, and noticeably convex, resembling miniature oyster shells.

Life Cycle: The females lay their eggs in the late fall and the eggs overwinter. Hatching occurs in the late spring and the crawlers move around for a few hours before settling. The scales are white in color at first, but become brown with maturity. They mature in mid-summer, mate, and lay eggs. The second generation develops by late fall.

Where to Collect: These scales develop on the bark of host plants. Searching plants for the scale shells is a good way to find and mount these insects.