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Scale insects are true bugs - members of the order Hemiptera whose species all feed on liquid food via modified tubular mouthparts called stylets.Adult scale insects are very diverse in appearance but most females have reduced mobility, and some can only move about in the first larval stage - crawler.The horse-chestnut scale belongs to the family Coccidae, which have ‘soft scales’ - the adult female is not protected by a cover or ‘test’.All scale insects are phytophagous - they feed on plants by ingesting their sap. Some species are highly polyphagous, feeding on many different plants. Such species are notorious agricultural pests.Pulvinaria regalis is an alien species introduced into Europe from Asia. It is broadly polyphagous and the insect has become extremely common in much of Britain, where it is noticeable on tree trunks.


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