Adult females are small, elongate, with geniculate antennae visible using hand lense; body white covered by white almost blue powdery secretion that covers the body. Some species produce an ovisac that covers body; without marginal filaments. Strictly subterranean, occurring on roots and rootlets of host.
Based on an analysis of the host information in ScaleNet (2012), the ground mealybugs occur on about 100 families of host plants. The most common host family is Poaceae with 73 species. The Asteraceae is a distant second with 36 species. The top ten most common host families are: Rubiaceae 32; Fabaceae 17; Rosaceae 14; Cyperaceae 13; Euphorbiaceae 12; Arecaceae 12; Cactaceae 11; Musaceae 10. This pattern of host preference is very similar to the mealybugs.
Ground mealybugs have 4 instars in the female and 5 instars in the male. The third-instar females in the subfamily Rhizoecinae are a normal feeding stage, but in the subfamily Xenococcinae the third-instar female is a non-feeding pupal stage. All members of the family occur on the roots of their hosts and sometimes become abundant enough to cause host damage (McKenzie 1967). Xenococcine species are obligately associated with Acropyga ants which apparently are dependent upon the honeydew produced by the mealybugs. Acropyga queens carry a xenococcine mealybug in their mandibles when they establish a new colony so that their offspring have a source of food (Schneider & LaPolla 2011).