|Pine branch with Marchalina hellenica secretions (honeydew)|
Marchalina hellenica is a scale insect that lives in the eastern Mediterranean region, mainly in Greece and Turkey. It is the sole member of the genus Marchalina. It lives by sucking the sap of pine trees, mainly the Turkish Pine (Pinus brutia) and, to smaller extent, Aleppo Pine (Pinus halepensis), Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris) and Stone Pine (Pinus pinea). It can be found in the cracks and under the scales of the bark of these trees, hidden under the white cotton-like wax it secretes. Its main form of reproduction is parthenogenesis.
The honeydew it produces is an important source of food for forest honey bees, which produce pine honey. In Greece and Turkey, about 60% of the honey production is derived from it. All over Greece the large scale artificial infestation of pine trees with Marchalina hellenica by bee keepers has resulted in the loss of the ecological balance between the insect and its natural predators; as a result trees in the surrounding pine forests are overburdened by the insect and dying.
In 2006 Marchalina hellenica was included in the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection alert list.
- Gounari, Sofia (2006). "Studies on the phenology of Marchalina hellenica (Gen.) (Hemiptera: Coccoidea, Margarodidae) in relation to honeydew flow". Journal of apicultural research (Cardiff: International Bee Research Association) 45 (1): 8–12. doi:10.3896/IBRA.1.45.1.03. ISSN 0021-8839. Retrieved 24 August 2009.
- Erlinghagen, F. (2001). Portrait of an insect: Marchalina hellenica Genn. (Sternorrhyncha: Coccina: Margarodidae), important producer of honeydew in Greece. Apiacta 36: 131–137.
- Margaritopoulos, J.T., Bacandritsos, N. & Pekas, A. N. (2003). Genetic variation of Marchalina hellenica (Hemiptera: Margarodidae) sampled from different hosts and localities in Greece. Bulletin of Entomological Research 93 (5 October): 447–453.