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Family Ortheziidae - Ensign Scales

Ants tending scales or aphids? Orthezia and ants - Orthezia Hemiptera nymph on Saltbush Maybe Orthezia - female ventral Ensign Scale, dorsal Ensign Scale, ventral Unidentified Insect
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hemiptera (True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies)
Suborder Sternorrhyncha (Plant-parasitic Hemipterans)
Superfamily Coccoidea (Scales and Mealybugs)
Family Ortheziidae (Ensign Scales)
Other Common Names
Ensign Coccids
Explanation of Names
Ortheziidae Amyot and Serville
Numbers
31 spp. in 7 genera the our area (of which 21 Orthezia), ~210 species in 23 genera worldwide(1)
Identification
Females distinctly segmented. elongate-oval. Antennae 4- to 9-segmented. Covered by hard, waxy, white plates.
Habitat
On almost any part of the host plant, including roots(2), sometimes in caves(3)
Food
found on a wide range of host plants including mosses, grasses, small herbaceous plants, woody shrubs and even fungi.
Life Cycle
may be tended by Crematogaster ants
Works Cited
1.ScaleNet
2.Borror and DeLong's Introduction to the Study of Insects
Norman F. Johnson, Charles A. Triplehorn. 2004. Brooks Cole.
3.University of Texas Insect Collection (UTIC)