Scale (Great Giant Scale) Coelostomidia zealandica
Species: C. zealandica
Scientific name: Coelostomidia zealandica
Synonyms: Caelostoma zealandicum, Coelostoma zealandica,
Common name: Great Giant Scale
Coelostomidia zealandica is a native scale insect that is found throughout New Zealand. It can be found crawling on the forest floor or on tree trunks. It has a wide range of host plants that include Myoporum laetum, Muehlenbeckia australis, Muehlenbeckia complexa, Podocarpus totara, Coprosma arborea, Griselinia species, Cassinia species, Collospermum species, Nothofagus species., Pittosporum crassifolium, Pittosporum tenuifolium, Cyathodes fraseri, Cyathodes colensoi, Tupeia antarctica, Plagianthus species, Rubus schmideloides, Discaria sρecies, Hebe species, Pseudopanax species and many other plants including lichen. Coelostomidiid-infested trees became coated with a black fungal complex (sooty mould).
Coelostomidia zealandica is a sap-feeding insect which excretes considerable quantities of sugar-rich honeydew which is an important sugar resource for New Zealand’s endemic gecko populations, especially in isolated island ecosystems. It is also a food resource for birds and insects.
An adult Coelostomidia zealandica female has a body length 6-15 mm, width 4-8 mm, and it has well-developed legs and sort antennae of 11-segments. The body is pink with a fine dusting of white, scally wax. The females oviposit into the soil under leaf litter or under tree bark. The hatched young go through several stages of instars.
An adult male is smaller than the female with a body length of 3.7-4.5 mm. It also has a pair of fully functional wings (length 3.5-4.3 mm). The adult males never feed and die within a day or two.
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