Possible scale on Euphorbia
January 2, 2010
I was doing some pruning and came across these crazy scales (?) on one of my evergreen Euphorbias. There were eggs and then the next stage appeared to be a reddish brown insect that looked similar to a roly poly but flatter. Then it develops into a scale looking insect with crazy toothpaste white stuff underneath it. It appears to leave behind a tube of scalloped toothpaste stuff. What the…?
You have nailed the ID. This sure looks like a Cottony Cushion Scale, Icerya purchasi, to us. According to BugGuide, on this Australian native: “The white fluted part of the insect is an egg sac that can contain up to 1000 eggs. The insect is hermaphroditic, producing sperm that can fertilize its own ova, but in an alternate reproductive strategy it can also make winged males that can fertilize the female part of other individuals.“
January 3, 2010
I sent an e-mail on January 2nd regarding scales. I was able to get some better photos and thought I would forward them along. They show the several stages described in my e-mail.