The adult, a small, pale yellow wasp, about 1 mm long also destroys many scales by mutilating them to feed on their body fluids. At 26 C the life cycle of Aphytis lignanensis takes 16 to 17 days and the adults live for 2 to 3 weeks. Aphytis lignanensis attacks virgin adult female scales (also second instar and male prepupae). Its eggs, which are white and teardrop-shaped, are laid on or under the scale body as distinct from the scale covering or cap. They hatch into yellow rotund larvae which feed on the scale body, eventually growing almost as big as the body of the scale itself. When full grown the parasitic larva forms a yellow pupa about 1 mm long. It is readily recognised because it is surrounded by a number of brown larval faecal pellets.