Longheaded Hopper
Ellura
Eucalypt Gall
Female Casing, right side, other insects
 
    
Eucalypt Gall (Apiomorpha strombylosa)Class: Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)
Order: True Bugs (Hemiptera)
Family: Scale Insect (Eriococcidae)
Species: Eucalypt Gall (Apiomorpha strombylosa)
This Photo:     Female Casing, left side
Similar Species: Mealybug

General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA), and elsewhere
We've cut galls open before to see what's inside, but this is the first time we've found something.
We thought it was a larva, but it's actually a female adult. You can see the 6 "legs", more like claws, in the photo's. Clearly not required anymore, but a left over ancestral "artifact"; living it's life inside the mutated Eucalypt stem.
We're still not quite sure how the males, that live a whole 2 days outside the "casing", manage to mate with females embedded inside their "casing".
We found this specimen on a very stunted, sick looking, mallee "bush". You know when you have a native plant when it's attacked by insects. Insects don't know what to do with introduced species; so generally treat them like a lump of rusty steel (ie not interested, leave it alone, so the introduced species thrives - oops!).

Copyright © 2014- Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 24-Jul-2014
This species is an Australian Native Species, not listed in the SA Murray Mallee Survey of 2010.