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Cycad Aulacaspis Scale Information Page

This page was created as a clearinghouse for information related to cycad aulacaspis scale (CAS), Aulacaspis yasumatsui Takagi (Hemiptera: Diaspididae)—perhaps the single most important threat to wild cycad populations and conservation collections around the world since the advent of modern cultivation (T. Broome, pers. comm.).

CAS is a serious insect pest on cycads, primarily of the genus Cycas. CAS was accidentally introduced from Southeast Asia into south Florida in the mid-1990s. It quickly spread throughout the state, and within a few years it had devastated the king sago (Cycas revoluta) nursery industry in Florida, resulting in economic losses in the millions of dollars.

CAS insects are sometimes difficult to detect because they tend to hide on stems under old leaf bases and within the root systems of infested plants. As a result, hitch-hiking insects have been spread on infected king sago plants to several islands in the Caribbean—including Puerto Rico, the Cayman Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands—and even to such far-away places as Hawaii, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Some of the more recent infestations have occurred on Guam and Taiwan, where CAS is wreaking havoc in several populations of native Cycas micronesica and C. taitungensis, respectively.

At the January 2005 CSG meeting in Xalapa, Mexico, CAS was identified as a critical issue for cycad conservation worldwide and was given priority status. Click here to read a letter and funding plea from CSG Chair Dr. John Donaldson. Numerous other individuals and organizations around the world have contributed to raising awareness and funding for CAS research. Click here to read an overview of global CAS efforts to date.

The State of Florida’s Department of Plant Industry and the University of Florida’s Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences have conducted quite a bit of research on this pest. Numerous other sources have published news on CAS as well. Below is a fairly comprehensive list of links that provide information on CAS and its control. The first two links represent a report on CAS to the CSG by the Invasive Pests Subgroup as well as a 2-page pest alert notification that can be downloaded, printed, and/or distributed widely.

Cycad Specialist Group Report & Pest Alert

Please feel free to scroll down the page, or you can click one of the following links to go directly to the section or region of your choice:

[ CAS General Information ]  [ CAS Control

Cycad Aulacaspis Scale in:

[ Alabama ]  [ California ]  [ Florida ]  [ Georgia ]  [ Hawaii
[ Nevada ]  [ Puerto Rico ]  [ Texas ]

[ Africa (Ivory Coast) ]  [ Barbados ]  [ China ]  [ Costa Rica ]  [ El Salvador
[ Guam/Rota/Palau ]  [ Guatemala ]  [ India ]  [ Indonesia ]  [ Korea ]  [ Mexico ]  [ New Zealand ]  [ Panama ]  [ South Africa ]  [ Taiwan ]  [ United Kingdom
[ U.S. Virgin Islands ]

CAS Workshop: 5th National IPM Symposium

In April 2006, Jody Haynes (leader of CSG Invasive Pests Subgroup) organized and chaired a 2-hour session on CAS at the 5th National Integrated Pest Management Symposium in St. Louis, MO, USA. Five speakers provided great information on CAS; the five presentations were as follows:

CAS General Information

CAS Control

CAS in Alabama

Below is the first indication that CAS is in Alabama.

CAS in California

Below is an article documenting one concerned individual's experience with CAS at a large chain store in southern California.

The following document summarizes confirmed reports of CAS entering California beginning in October 2006; the updates are sent in regularly by a California plant inspector.

Below are additional sources pertaining to CAS in California.

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CAS in Florida

CAS first appeared in southern Florida in the mid-1990s. It has since devastated the Cycas revoluta industry and killed the majority of adult Cycas plants throughout much of the state. CAS has also been secondarily transported from Florida throughout the world on infested C. revoluta plants.

CAS in Georgia

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CAS in Hawaii

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CAS in Nevada

Below is the first known formal notice of CAS in Nevada.

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CAS in Puerto Rico

Below is the first known publication of CAS in Puerto Rico.

Additional publications pertaining to CAS in Puerto Rico are as follows:

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CAS in Texas

CAS was first detected in Texas in 2002 but probably did not establish until 2004; it is now well-established in several counties in the Rio Grande Valley. Below are some links pertaining to information on CAS in Texas.

CAS in Africa (Ivory Coast)

Below is the first (anecdotal) report of CAS from the Ivory Coast in Africa.

CAS in Barbados

Below is a recent news release on the identification and control of CAS in Barbados by the Ministry of Agriculture.

CAS in China

Below is a recent paper on the biology and control of naturally-occurring CAS in China.

CAS in Costa Rica

Below is an unconfirmed report of CAS at a hotel in Costa Rica in 2006.

CAS in El Salvador

Below is an unconfirmed report of CAS in El Salvador in 2010.

CAS on Guam/Rota/Palau

CAS first appeared on Guam in 2004. It has since wreaked havoc and devastation in native populations of Cycas micronesica. Below is a summary of published information on this infestation.

CAS first appeared on Rota in 2007. Below is an update on this infestation.

Below is the official confirmation of CAS and some preliminary information on its control on the island of Palau.

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CAS in Guatemala

Below is an unconfirmed report of CAS in Guatemala in 2010, with an update from September 2011.

CAS in India

Below is a recent preemptive warning message against the importation of cycads from CAS-infested countries into India.

CAS in Indonesia

The following paper documents the introduction of CAS into Indonesia.

CAS in Korea

Below is a link to an abstract of a paper indicating the interception of CAS-infested Cycas plants from Malaysia into Korea.

CAS in Mexico

Below is an unconfirmed report of CAS in SW Mexico in 2010.

CAS in New Zealand

So far, New Zealand seems to be CAS-free. Below are a few informative articles.

CAS in Panama

Below is the first known report of CAS in Panama.

CAS in South Africa

Below are two reports of CAS in South Africa.

CAS in Taiwan

Taiwan is the second sad story regarding CAS infesting wild populations of cycads -- this time it is Cycas taitungensis.

CAS in the United Kingdom

Below is report of the first CAS interception in the UK in April 2006.

CAS in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Below is an unconfirmed report of CAS on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.

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This page was updated on Thursday, 25 October 2012.