Insects Attacking Fourwing Saltbush

Atriplex canescens

Many species insects feed on fourwing saltbush. Several have the potential to limit seed production. These two homopterans were found near Grand Junction in Mesa County CO

The Irregular Wax Scale
Ceroplastes irregularis

This little-known scale can kill mature fourwing saltbush plants when they are heavily infested. The scale is covered entirely with a thick cream colored wax and usually masses in colonies on branches and crowns of several species of Atriplex. It is reported from the desert areas of southern California, Arizona and New Mexico in the literature (Essig, E.O. 1926. The Insects of Western North America, The McMillan Company, NY. p292.). These pictures were taken near Palisade, Colorado where it has been present for many years. Sutton, 1990 reported that Native Americans of the desert Southwest utilized the waxy scales "for a variety of purposes including chewing gum, basketry sealant and mastic, ceramic sealant, mastic on bows, and tool handles.


Chenopod Ensign Coccid
Orthezia annae Cockrell

Another little known homopteran, this ortheziid mealybug is known from New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and California from several chenopods including Atriplex, Chenopodium, and Kochia. These pictures were taken near Colorado National Monument where they were stunting and killing native plants in a landscape planting. The mealybugs were covering stems on all parts of the plants. Essig, 1926 provides a one sentence description of this insect, which is one of its few mentions in the literature.










This page was updated on March 3, 2016

The irregular wax scale