Theses and Dissertations


Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Ward, Samuel F.

Committee Member

Chase, Kevin D.

Committee Member

Riggins, John J.

Committee Member

Schulz, Ashley N.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Agricultural Life Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology


Non-native scale insects can be economically and ecologically important pests of urban forests. Crapemyrtle bark scale (CMBS), Acanthococcus lagerstroemiae Kuwana (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), is a scale that causes declines in plant vigor for a popular ornamental tree in the southeastern United States, crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia spp.). CMBS has spread rapidly throughout the Southeast and, more recently, into the Middle Atlantic. Despite problems associated with CMBS, important aspects of its ecology, such as the role of propagule pressure in establishment and the relative importance of mechanisms for between-tree dispersal, are not well-understood. We used field and laboratory studies to investigate these aspects of CMBS population ecology, finding that just one female CMBS ovisac can establish new populations and that nymphs are dislodged at low wind speeds (7 m/s) from crapemyrtle twigs. Our results highlight the importance of thorough phytosanitation practices in crapemyrtle nurseries and provide evidence for wind-mediated and phoretic dispersal by CMBS.

Available for download on Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Included in

Entomology Commons