Cycad scales on Rota

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  • An infestation of scales was found on Cycas micronesica plants on Rota in the vicinity of the Swimming Hole by Nirmala Dongol and Dr. Irene Terry on 12 March 2007.
  • Slide mounts of specimens (AM20070327.002.1 through 7) were made by Dr. Aubrey Moore and sent to scale specialist, Dr. Gillian Watson, who confirmed that these are Aulacaspis yasumatsui.
  • The lady beetle, Rhyzobius lophanthae, a biocontrol agent for the Asian cycad scale, was collected on Guam and released on Rota by Alejandro Badilles, Northern Marianas College, in May 2007.
  • July 19, 2007 Email from Dr. Joaquin (Jack) Tenorio, NMC: "I visited the Rhyzobius release site with Ali on June 21. The beetles are apparently established. There were relatively large number of adults feeding on the scales at least 10 to 20 feet from the release focal point. It is interesting to note that the scales are apparently confined to within about 100 feet radius from the heaviest infestation focal point. There were native cycads north and south of the initial infestation, but we couldn't find the scales. We also saw some Cryptolaemus adults and larvae evidently feeding on the scales. I am going back there again on 7/30; I will check on the progress of the beetles, as well as the scale infestation if it has spread since our last visit."