Outbreaks of pink wax scale, Ceroplastes rubens Maskell (Hemiptera: Coccidae), on umbrella trees in south-eastern Queensland: Patterns of parasitisation



The degree and distribution of parasitisation in relation to densities of pink wax scale, Ceroplastes rubens Maskell, on umbrella trees, Schefflera actinophylla (Endl.), in south-eastern Queensland were investigated to determine whether scale outbreaks could be attributed, in part, to low levels of parasitisation. Rates of parasitisation were independent of or inversely dependent on host density, and highly variable, especially at low densities. The absence of density dependent parasitisation may occur as a result of: (i) non-aggregation by parasitoids; (ii) aggregation by parasitoids where parasitisation is limited by intrinsic or extrinsic factors; and/or (iii) high rates of hyperparasitisation.