Return of the Monday Mystery

We’re back this month with an extra-difficult challenge:

This is a highly-magnified photograph; each of the squishy pink things is only about 1 millimeter long. What are the pink things (4 pts for family), what is the big white thing (4 points for genus), and what is the ecological relationship between them (2 points)?

Points will be awarded to first person to correctly guess each question, and the cumulative points winner across all mysteries for the month of September will win their choice of 1) any 8×10-sized print from my insect photography galleries, or 2) a guest post here on Myrmecos.

Good luck!

5 thoughts on “Return of the Monday Mystery”

  1. Pink things: Rhizoecinae mealybugs
    White thing: Final instar larva of Acropyga ants
    Relation: Obligate mutualism on which the ants feed, and which the ant queens carry between their mandibles on their mating flight.

  2. Sigh. It’s a Melissotarsus weissi larva accompanied by its scale insect symbionts in the family Diaspididae. The symbionts are presumably farmed for their meat. Yes, I was just reading the account on the Yuku forum. XD

  3. Pingback: Answer to the Monday Mystery: An Extremely Odd Ant, and an Extremely Odd Scale Insect – MYRMECOS - Insect Photography - Insect Pictures

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