It is important for vintners to distinguish between the obscure mealybug and its close relatives, the grape and vine mealybug. The obscure mealybug has longer, thinner, and more crooked filaments than does the vine mealybug, making the obscure mealybug look comparatively untidy The most distinctive feature of the obscure mealybug is the set of two to four exceptionally long caudal filaments growing from the posterior of large nymphs and adult females. The insect's waxy secretion accumulates heavily on these filaments, making it appear to have several long "tails"
The obscure mealybug more closely resembles the grape mealybug than it does the vine mealybug, but the two can be distinguished by the color of the defensive fluid they secrete when disturbed; grape mealybugs secrete reddish-orange fluid, while obscure mealybugs secrete clear fluid.When crushed, the obscure mealybug's body contents (guts) are pinkish-grey.
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