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Weird and wonderful Australian scale insects – Penny Mills

15 April @ 7:30 am - 9:00 pm

Weird and wonderful Australian scale insects

I will provide a brief overview of the bizarre biology of scale insects before discussing the unique ecology and life-history traits of three genera of scale insects from Australia: Callipappus (marsupial females and birds-of-paradise males), Cystococcus (a.k.a. bush coconuts; adult males transport their baby sisters around on their abdomen) and Apiomorpha (gall-inducers on eucalypts with unusual chromosome variation).


From an early age I have been fascinated by non-human animals (particularly cetaceans) though it wasn’t until completing a summer semester course during my undergraduate at UQ that my focus shifted to insects.

The summer course not only introduced me to scale insects (via a mini-project on lac scales) but also DNA sequencing, phylogenetics and my Honours and PhD supervisor, Assoc. Prof. Lyn Cook, who has been a mentor and collaborator.  

My Honours and PhD theses focussed on the biology, taxonomy, systematics and evolution of several species groups within the gall-inducing scale insect genus Apiomorpha (Coccomorpha: Eriococcidae). I have also undertaken systematic research on gall-inducing thrips and have recently been involved with a bio-control project on an introduced pest from the Mediterranean: the giant pine scale (Marchalina hellenica).

I became a member of the Entomological Society of Queensland (ESQ) during my Honours year and have served as Councillor (since 2012) and Secretary (since 2019) on the ESQ Council.

Arrive around 7pm for a 7.30pm start.


15 April
7:30 am - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


Toowong Uniting Church Hall
82 Sherwood Road
Toowong, Queensland 4066 Australia
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