Ladybird beetles

Coccinellidae. Spanish: Marias, mariquitas (General); chinitas (Chile); catitas, loritos, vaquitas (Argentina). Portuguese: Joaninhas. Lady beetles, ladybugs.

Ladybirds (Hodek 1973) are familiar small beetles (BL 5-10 mm). The body is hemispherical to elongate and the head quite small and covered by the prothorax. The head bears heavy mandibles and slightly clubbed antennae. The elytra are often brightly colored, most often deep red but may be black, yellow, pink, or yellow and usually with contrasting spots, stripes, or irregular patterns of black or red. Some rounded species are difficult to distinguish superficially from similar leaf beetles; they

Figure 9.11 BEETLES, (a) Ladybird beetle (Cycloneda sanguínea, Coccinellidae). (b) Southern squash beetle (Epilachna tredecimnotata). (c) Lacewing beetle (Calopteron brasiliense, Lycidae). (d) Longhorn beetle mimic of lacewing beetle (Thelgetra sp., Cerambycidae). (e) Wasp moth mimic of lacewing beetle (Correbia sp., Arctiidae). (f) Heteropteran mimic of lacewing beetle (Oncopeltus sp., Lygaeidae). (g) Cacao borer (Xyleborus ferrugineus, Scolytidae). (h) Coffee borer (Hypothenemus hampei, Scolytidae).

Figure 9.11 BEETLES, (a) Ladybird beetle (Cycloneda sanguínea, Coccinellidae). (b) Southern squash beetle (Epilachna tredecimnotata). (c) Lacewing beetle (Calopteron brasiliense, Lycidae). (d) Longhorn beetle mimic of lacewing beetle (Thelgetra sp., Cerambycidae). (e) Wasp moth mimic of lacewing beetle (Correbia sp., Arctiidae). (f) Heteropteran mimic of lacewing beetle (Oncopeltus sp., Lygaeidae). (g) Cacao borer (Xyleborus ferrugineus, Scolytidae). (h) Coffee borer (Hypothenemus hampei, Scolytidae).

have three major segments in the tarsi rather than four as in that family. Larvae are elongate, with long legs and a warty integument and often are pilose, sometimes with long branched hairs.

The adults and larvae are common on vegetation where they prey on other insects, such as aphids and mealybugs, and therefore are considered beneficial to agriculture (Szumkowski 1955). Some species are of specific importance as biological control agents against scales (Bartlett 1939), such as Rodolia cardinalis against the cottony cushion scale (Icerya purchasi). A few species in the genus Epilachna (Gordon 1976) are herbivorous and are actually pests on crops such as beans (Mexican bean beetle, E. varivestis), squash and other cucurbits (southern squash Beetle, E. tredecimnotata, fig. 9.11b), or melons (melon beetle, E. paenulata).

There are well over a thousand cocci-nellid species in Latin America, but they are generally poorly known there. The most widespread species, Cycloneda san-guinea (fig. 9.1 la), has solid red elytra.

References

Bartlett, K. A. 1939. The collection in Trinidad and southern Brazil of coccinellids predatory on scales. 6th Pacific Sci. Cong. Proc. 4: 339-343.

Gordon, R. D. 1976. A revision of the Epilachninae of the Western Hemisphere

(Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). U.S. Dept. Agrie. Tech. Bull. 1493: 1-409.

Hodek, I. 1973. Biology of Coccinellidae. Academia, Czechoslovak Acad. Sci., Prague.

Szumkowski, W. 1955. Observaciones sobre la biología de algunos Coccinellidae (Coleoptera). Bol. Entomol. Venezolana 11: 77-96.

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