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Insect and Spider Identification: What is it? Seen in Tasmania on the North West Coast.

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Forum: Insect and Spider IdentificationReplies: 2, Views: 16
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kathM
Spreyton
Australia

December 27, 2013
3:51 AM

Post #9735063

This bug/beetle/something was photographed in Spreyton, North West Tasmania. Australia. I have no idea what it is.

Orange/brown mottled stripes. Approximately 1 1/2 cm long possibly an isopod????

Any information would be good

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Flapdoodle
Minot, ND

December 27, 2013
7:10 AM

Post #9735130

It's a female giant scale insect in the family Margarodidae - see /photos/21560098@N06/2421582981 for another example. Males look very different, and sometimes are called bird-of-paradise flies - http://australianmuseum.net.au/image/Male-scale-insect/
kennedyh
Churchill, Victoria
Australia
(Zone 10a)



December 27, 2013
12:46 PM

Post #9735333

According to the Australian Faunal Directory: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/abrs/online-resources/fauna/afd/taxa/CALLIPAPPIDAE the family is now the Callipappidae (split off from the Margarodidae). The family is confined to Australia, with 2 genera and 6 species. I found a female similar to yours in Wilsons Promontory National Park and it was identified for me as Callipappus rubidginosus: http://davesgarden.com/guides/bf/go/6364/
Checking in the Australian Faunal Directory, only 2 of the 6 species are recorded from Tasmania, Platycoelostoma tasmanicum and Callipappus immanis.
This page: http://www.sel.barc.usda.gov/scalekeys/scalefamilies/key/scale families/media/html/scalefamilies/Families/Callipapidae/Callippappus.html
shows some detail of the two genera, and I think yours is almost certainly a Callipappus and is therefore probably Callipappus immanis.
That species is shown as having an Australia-wide distribution. It is fascinating to think how an insect with a flightless female, whose larvae crawl straight to the ground and feed underground on roots, could possibly disperse to provide an Australia-wide distribution, including crossing the Bass Strait!

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