The scale insect Aulacaspis yasumatsui is native to Southeast Asia and a major pest of cycad
(Cycadales) plants. Due to an increase in worldwide trading of cycads, A. yasumatsui has
spread globally and has become a major threat to many cultivated and native cycads worldwide.
In this study we report formally, for the first time, A. yasumatsui infesting cycads in
South Africa. This scale insect was observed infesting cycads in three provinces in South
Africa, namely, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo. Its identification was based on
morphology and nucleotide sequences of three gene regions. Although more common and
damaging on non-native Cycas species, its presence on some native South African
Encephalartos species is of concern and effort should be made to control the spread and
impact of this pest in the country.