Adults always shiny black, immatures lightly dusted with wax and light brownish.
native to the Palaearctic (now cosmopolitan), introduced to NA from around 1890
hosts include plants of many families: Fabaceae (mainly), Malvaceae, Asteraceae, Orchidaceae, etc. with marked preference for Fabaceae
Young colonies concentrate on the growing points of plants and are usually attended by ants.
It can be a serious pest of many crops and ornamentals.