There is an alien species lurking inside our Botanical Gardens and across our landscape. Have anyone noticed? Well, if you haven’t, take another look, it is cycad aulacaspis scale (CAS), Aulacaspis yasumatsui Takagi (Figure 1), an invasive species of scale insects native to South East Asia, which made its way to the US in 1996 and from there has spread to many different countries including the Caribbean countries of Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Barbados and now St. Vincent. It has also established itself in the Central American countries of Panama, Costa Rica and El Salvador. Cycad Aulacaspis Scale is the major pest of cycads (Cycadacea: Cycadales) (Figure 2). The cycads are gymnospermsand they are thought to be as old as the dinosaurs.
Read more in this article by Rafique Bailey (Ph.D. Entomology)
The Cycad Scale – A New Invasive Species to the St. Vincent