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Ctenochiton viridis Maskell

Sixpenny scale
[Ctenochiton viridis]. A mature female with a new crawler walking away on the leaf.

[Ctenochiton viridis]. A mature female with a new crawler walking away on the leaf.

The species name viridis means green, and this is the original sixpenny scale described by William Maskell in 1879.

This scale is closely related to the three other species of Ctenochiton, the sixpenny scales.

Biology: Has one generation per year and overwinters as small2nd-instar females and males. As soon as spring growth starts on the host trees, the female scales move off the old leaves onto the new shoots and take advantage of the rising sap to speed up their development to adult. The males stop feeding and stay behind on old leaves; they lose their mouthparts as they moult and go through a metamorphosis to emerge as tiny winged insects quite unlike the female scales. The adult males live for only a few days, long enough to mate with females.

Normally found on Pseudopanax trees, which is an easy way to distinguish this scale from Ctenochiton paraviridis, the spotted sixpenny scale and Ctenochiton toru, the toronia scale.

Found on the undersides of leaves of:

Coprosma sp.  
Meryta sinclairii puka
Pseudopanax arboreus five-finger
Pseudopanax crassifolius   horoeka / lancewood
Pseudopanax ferox lancewood
Pseudopanax lessoni   houpara
Pseudopanax linearis linear-leaved lancewood
Rubus sp.