Chionaspis (Phenacaspis) pinifoliae (Diaspididae)
pine needle scale
A white scale shaped like an oyster shell. Adult female scale remains fixed in
the feeding location on needles. Adult male develops wings and emerges from
the scale to fly about and seek a mate.
Eggs laid in the fall, overwinter under the female scale and hatch in the spring. One generation annually. Locomotion in scale insects is almost entirely confined to the very young "crawlers." These young scales are minute and generally yellow in colour. After hatching from the eggs (beneath scales), or leaving the female, young "crawlers" move over the needles. After a few days "crawlers" affix themselves in a favourable position and feed by sucking plant juices. Young crawlers found May-July.
When trees are stressed or show signs of decadence they can become heavily infested by these scales. Leaves, twigs, branches even entire trees may be killed.
In the West this scale attacks all species of pine and sometimes Douglas-fir, spruce, and cedar, usually on planting stock.
Can be serious in nurseries and is a common pest of ornamental trees.
References and Links:
Pine needle scale (PennState Extension, USA)