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Insect and Spider Identification: Please help identify what type of scale insect

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Lollisa
Palm Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

April 26, 2013
7:31 PM

Post #9498492

I think this is a type of scale. Anyone know which kind?
Found all over stems and leaves of a "fire bush(?)" in zone10 a/b - southeast Florida.
It has a white cottony type of outer appearance, doesn't look like white wax scale, cotton scale or barnacle scale to me.
It has a brown "shell" under the white and a very specific pattern on its back where a "ring" of the white is mostly missing showing the darker shell type features. In the very middle there is a white tuft, when viewed from the side you can see it sticks straight out from the back. You can also see little white "legs" or tufts on the sides of the insect which made me think mealy bug at first.
It appears that some have shed most of their white and eventually I assume become the brown or green "bumps"/scales on the stems. You can see one starting to lose its white on the underside of the leaf I have flipped up in picture 3. In the picture 2 you can really see the "bumps" clearly. Way too many of those! In picture 1 you can see some of the leaf damage and trails and the white center tuft although its a little out of focus.
And yes there is sooty mold on the plant now plus several little spiders.
Thanks for any identifying help you all can provide.

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