By Mengmeng Gu, Ph.D.
Crapemyrtle Bark Scale & Beautyberry IF YOU THINK crapemyrtle bark scale (CMBS) only gets on crepe myrtles, think twice. In 2016 CMBS was confirmed on an American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) next to a CMBS-infested crepe myrtle in a park in Texarkana. Shortly after, Dr. Dave Creech’s wife shared pictures (See Figures 1 and 2.) of CMBS-infested American beautyberry from Red River National Wildlife Refuge at the southeastern part of Shreveport, La. In 2015 I planted two crepe myrtles in my backyard. In May 2017 I found CMBS on one of them. I didn’t do anything until two months later. By then about the top one-third (about 2 feet long) of the branch was covered with white egg sacs. I cut off the top infested branch, but I’m sure there were some crawlers (immature stage) somewhere. I don’t know when, but a little bird dropped an American beautyberry seed next to my crepe myrtle, and it had grown to a 3-foot-wide bush. That fall I found white egg sacs and crawlers on the beautyberry (See Figure 3.). In this picture, “C” refers to the CMBS crawler with some waxy hair developing on its body but still showing dark maroon color. “A” refers to ants often associated with CMBS, and “E” refers to CMBS eggs sacs covered with white wax. Is there a difference in CMBS preference to different beautyberry species and cultivars? As a good horticulturist, we always ask ourselves when situations like these occur. To Photo 1 answer that question, I obtained several
TNLA Green September/October 2019