Giant Scale

Icerya rileyi (?)

a colony of Giant Scale Insects, Icerya, photo © by Michael Plagens

Affixed to a woody twig of Mimosa biuncifera near Seven Spring, Maricopa Co., Arizona, USA. 19 July 2015.

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These blobs are true bugs, but with very short non-functional legs. With a proboscis deeply inserted into the stem tissue they cannot and need not move. Bright white waxy coating helps protect them from the sun and from many predators while they suck sap from the plant. They are adults nearly ready to produce eggs and may encase them in a big waxy shield similar to the one shown below (thumb link).

 © by Mike Plagens

Monophlebidae -- Giant Scale Family

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Arizona Naturalist
Sycamore Canyons
Invertebrates in Arizona's Sycamore Canyons


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 27 Nov. 2016