Cottony-cushion scales (Iceryapurchasi, magnified)—Robert C. HermesThe National Audubon Society Collection/Photo Researchers
Scale insect (Icerya purchasi, order Homoptera) that is a pest especially of California citrus trees. The adult lays bright red eggs in a distinctive large white mass that juts out from a twig. Distributed worldwide, cottony-cushion scale is found on many other plants, including acacia, pittosporum, and willow. Australian ladybird beetles (seeladybug), a natural enemy, have been imported to keep it from destroying the California citrus industry.