Ensign Scale, Newsteadia species (Hemiptera: Coccoidea: Ortheziidae) in New Zealand
Have you heard of Ensign Scale insects (Ortheziidae)? Until two years ago I had no idea such strange insects existed. At the time I was looking at fungi on dead leaves and twigs, including dead leaves of New Zealand flax (Phorium tenax J. R. Forst. & G. Forst.). I found some strange mobile insects covered in white wax-like plates (Figs. 1-2). The insects appeared to be breeding on dead flax leaves, and they reminded me of scale insects but did not appear to be mealybugs or Margarodidiae.