of my bromeliads have what look like scale on them, but it's only
on the upper surface of the leaves.
spots on your sample certainly did resemble scale, but as they were
only on the upper surface and there was no sign of young scales
I had them checked out at HortResearch. It turns out they are the
empty egg sacs of a predatory mite, probably a species of Anystis,
which are known as whirlygig mites. They are a good bug to have
in the garden as they hunt down and eat some mites which are plant
If you scrape off the
empty egg sacs you'll find there's a pale spot underneath where
light hasn't been getting through to the leaf surface, but given
time that should colour up as chlorophyll returns and photosynthesis
becomes active again.
The rural supply company,
Williams and Kettle, have a website (www.wilket.co.nz/cms/beneinsects.htm)
where you can check out photos of a wide range of beneficial insects,
including Anystis, on a variety of plants.
Gardener, Issue 179, 2005, Page 30
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.