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Ensign Scale


Ensign Scale insects are in the Family Ortheziidae which is considered a primitive scale family in that nymphs and adult females are all mobile and have legs and antennae. These appear to be nymphs, since females often have much longer waxy secretions extending from the posterior end. Ensign Scale produce thick waxy plates in intricate designs that look almost flower-like. They were grouped all around a few woody twigs close to the ground. At first I thought they were some kind of fungi. Males are winged and do not feed. Many Ensign Scale species feed on fungi in leaf litter, sucking juices from the hyphae. They are often attended by Crematogaster Ants and there was one of these ants present among the nymphs (see pictures 3 and 6). The legs and antennae are not visible in these pictures, but you can see them well in this spotting (different species?) from mid Mexico (San Luis Potosí)


Parque de la Cascada del Chorreadero, north of Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas, Mexico.

Notes: https://nzacfactsheets.landcareresearch....

No species ID suggestions


mauna Kunzah
mauna Kunzah a week ago

Congrats, Lauren! Cool spotting.

SukanyaDatta a week ago


Tukup a week ago

Great spotting Lauren. I am seeing quite a few Scale insects on PN lately. I didn't even know they existed. Thanks for sharing and congratulations on the well-deserved SOTD.

Congratulations Lauren.

Cool find Lauren,congrats on the well deserved SOTD ad thanks for sharing

Neil Ross
Neil Ross a week ago

Great spotting, Lauren, and excellent images. Congrats on your SOTD.

LaurenZarate a week ago

Thank you Daniele, it is always an honor to be chosen for SOTD!

Brian38 a week ago

Congrats Lauren! Amazing spotting!

DanielePralong a week ago

Nice to have you back with some new findings Lauren, and congratulations, this great series is our Spotting of the Day:

"Our Spotting of the Day may resemble fungus from a distance, but you're looking at ensign scale insects (family Ortheziidae)! These are found in most parts of the world with the majority of species occurring in the Neotropics and Nearctic regions. Ensign scale produce thick waxy secretions in intricate, structured patterns. They are found on a wide range of host plants and fungi, and may be tended by ants in the genus Crematogaster. Check out the spotting for more images and information!"



Chiapas, Mexico

Lat: 16.76, Long: -92.97

Spotted on Jan 11, 2019
Submitted on Mar 13, 2019

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