|Class:||Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)|
|Order:||True Bugs (Hemiptera)|
|Family:||Scale Insect (Coccoidea, Eriococcidae)|
|Species:||Eucalypt Gall (Apiomorpha strombylosa)|
|This Photo:||Female, Legs|
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!).
Similar Species: Mealybug (Pseudococcidae cf sp ?)