Location: Durban ; South Africa
September 18, 2011 1:24 am
These little guys are between 0.5mm and 2mm in size. They live along with along with black aphids on ”sacred basil” plants and dandelions.Its now spring in our part of the world.
Any idea what they are – I am thinking possibly some type of scale insect
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We disagree with your identification of Scale Insects, however, we believe you have the order Hemiptera correct. In addition to Scale Insects, Hemiptera includes True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers and Aphids. The individual closest to the camera in your photo appears to have secreted a waxy substance, another characteristic of many members of the order Hemiptera. We are posting your photo and tagging it as unidentified until we are able to provide you with something more definite.
Many Thanks. I’ve attached a 3rd photo of one with a longer
“tail” (about 2.5mm). I suspect it is all “wax”.
Thanks for the additional photo Russ. We believe this may be either an Ensign Coccid in the family Ortheziidae, or some closely related family. We used BugGuide for research, and the site is devoted to North American species. We will continue to research this. This photo from BioLib of a European Ensign Coccid supports our theory, but it also appears that the Coccids are more closely related to Scale insects than we originally thought, so your initial suspicion is proving to be more accurate than we admitted.