Mealybugs are unarmoured soft-bodied scale, covered with a white ‘mealy’ (waxy) coating and usually live in small colonies.
The wingless females have legs (unlike some other scale) and can move about, while males are smaller, gnat-like and have wings. Adult males have a very short life span after pupation and do not feed at all, living only to mate with females.
Newly hatched nymphs, called crawlers, are soft bodied and yellow. The waxy coating develops over them when they mature. They are quite active at first but settle down once they have found a suitable feeding site.
The larvae of the mealy bug predator lady beetle closely resemble mealy bugs, especially the long-tailed mealy bug, but the larvae are almost three times the size of the mealy bugs.
Adult size: 4 mm