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  5. Australian Ladybird Beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Their Biology and Classification

In general, in generic and species descriptions, five specimens of extreme size and variations were measured, always including the largest and the smallest available ones. The number presented is the mean number, or ranges of these measurements. Following examination these were mounted in a drop of DMHF dimethyl hydantoin formaldehyde on a card and pinned with the specimen.

The terms mesoventrite and metaventrite replace the misapplied terms mesosternum and metasternum, following Lawrence Taxonomic conventions. A diagnosis and complete description is presented for each of the 57 genera known to occur in Australia. The diagnosis is a summary of critical characters of the adult ladybird beetle that should be checked, without going into a lengthy description, once a specimen has been successfully keyed out in the generic key.


The identified beetle should possess all or most of the mentioned character states. In instances where genera are so similar that they could be confused, a statement about differences is given. Zborowski May ;. Power ;. Everyone knows the common ladybirds of gardens and childhood stories. Yet they are but a very few of the wide diversity of species assigned to the beetle family Coccinellidae. The family name Coccinellidae probably derives from the diminutive of the Latinized Greek word Kokkos , a seed or berry, in reference to the rounded and convex shape of the beetles.

However, other authorities give the Latin Coccinus — scarlet colour, as the root of the name Froggatt The first major work on beetle classification was that of Pierre A. In this family, he included three genera: Coccinella including Scymnus as a group of species , Eumorphus and Endomychus.

Australian Ladybird Beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae): Their Biology and Classification

Three years later, Latreille used the family name Coccinellidae for a similar grouping of genera and this name is used in nomenclature as the first available family group name for Coccinellidae. But Latreille did not stop there! In spite of differences in many details, the important step was a recognition that Coccinellidae are a part of large assemblage of beetle families — called of Clavicornia or Diversicornia — and are not a separate suborder Siphohophora as suggested by Verhoeff on the basis of the structure of the male genitalia.

The foundations of a modern, phylogeny-based, beetle classification were laid by Roy A. Most of the subsequent workers on Coccinellidae systematics followed this placement, perceiving Endomychidae as the most obvious candidate for sister group. However, Sasaji unpublished paper, cited in Sasaji made a careful comparison of characters among the cerylonid series and concluded that, in spite of apparent morphological differences, Coccinellidae are probably more closely related to Corylophidae than to Endomychidae.

Both concepts were tested and confirmed as possible scenarios during the study on the phylogeny of Endomychidae by Tomaszewska , However, larvae of these groups are very different and do not support close relationships between the taxa. These rather inconclusive results of various phylogenetic analyses of Coccinellidae and their related taxa may result from: a the fact that Endomychidae and several currently recognised families of Cucujoidea e. Wanat in his paper on male genitalia.

Some of the commonly seen ladybirds are brightly coloured and patterned, readily attracting the attention of home gardeners and small children.

Australian Ladybird Beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) by Adam Slipinski - Read Online

Most species are predatory, particularly on insects that are often pests of agriculture. Thus ladybirds have attracted the attention of biologists, too. Various aspects of the biology and ecology of the Coccinellidae are covered by several thorough reviews and books that should be consulted. From that perspective it has limited relevance to Australia, but it makes excellent reading.

The topics discussed and the underlying evolutionary processes are universal biological phenomena fully applicable to the Australian fauna. Drea and Gordon reviewed the biology of ladybird species that prey on armoured scales Hemiptera: Diaspididae , and Ponsonby and Copland reviewed the species feeding on soft scales Coccidae.

He also discusses consequences of various ecological traits in ladybirds for their successful application in biological control. Ladybird beetles are holometabolous insects, undergoing a complete metamorphosis with four discrete life stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult beetle. Of these stages, only the adult beetle is very mobile. This stage is capable of covering vast distances, using wings for flight, to find new food sources or mating partners. The adult is also the stage that has a prolonged duration — counted in months; the others last only few or more days.

Larva and adult are the stages that actively search and feed on various insects and other invertebrates, plant tissue or fungal hyphae and conidia. Coccinellidae eggs are 0. The chorion is smooth with distinct microsculpture visible only in Epilachninae Klausnitzer When freshly laid, an egg is usually white or creamy-yellow but during embryogenesis it changes colour, becoming darker — often very much darker.

Oviposition under the scale was also reported by Richards for Rhyzobius ventralis Erichson preying on Eriococcus coriaceus Maskell in Australia. The long and heavily sclerotised female ovipositor of that species can be inserted inside the ovisac of the scale. The emerging larvae feed on the eggs, the crawlers and the female scale. Richards found that females of a related species, Rhyzobius forestieri Mulsant, have the ovipositor less heavily sclerotised and lay eggs on or under Ceroplastus rubens Maskell, Gossyparia casuarinae or Rhizococcus casuarinae.

Eggs were laid under scales, singly or in groups of up to eggs. True ladybirds, the Coccinellini are known to form larger batches of up to eggs on leaf surfaces close to the colonies of aphids Iperti that are their primary prey. The total number of eggs produced by coccinellids varies considerably between species and is highly dependent on food supply and ambient climatic factors.

Kuznetsov cites fecundity of various species of Coccinellini from eastern Russia [as Soviet Far East] as between and eggs per female, depending on the aphid host and the ladybird species. Larvae emerge from eggs either via a rupture at one end of the egg or a longitudinal split. Shortly before eclosion the chorion becomes thin and semitransparent, the stemmata, mandibles and hatching spines egg bursters on the head of the embryo becoming clearly visible.

A bulge gradually develops on one side of the chorion, caused by pressure of head and hatching spines, and eclosion is usually completed within 2—10 minutes. Brown a, b studied the biology of Lioadalia flavomaculata De Geer and Cheilomenes lunata Fabricius in South Africa and reported severe difficulties experienced by the larvae of Ch.

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Many of the larvae moved their egg bursters back and forth for several hours without managing to rupture the chorion. The freshly hatched larva remains stationary for about an hour for the hardening of its cuticle to take place. Then the larva moves around, often feeding on unhatched eggs both fertile and infertile. There are four stages instars in larval life, separated from each other by a moulting period in which the larva casts off its old exoskeleton and builds up a new one, considerably increasing its size.

Prior to moulting, the larva stops feeding and moving and usually attaches itself to the substrate using the anal pad cremaster on the terminal abdominal segment ; it remains motionless for several hours Khan et al. The ecdysis begins at the head and continues along the dorsal part of the thorax and abdomen. The larva liberates itself from the moulted cuticle and walks away after the new cuticle hardens.

Once their cuticle has hardened the first instar larvae actively seek food. This consists mostly of the eggs of prey in the case of coccidophagous species or small aphid nymphs for aphidophagous species. The newly hatched larvae have about one to one and a half days in which to locate their first prey. Early authors Fleschner ; Hagen ; Hodek assumed that all predatory coccinellid larvae use extra-oral digestion and that some larvae have perforated or grooved mandibles resembling those of some Dytiscidae. In fact coccinellid larval mandibles are not perforated at all.

In several species, however, there is a deep groove along the inner surface Ricci Richards and Goletsos observed larvae of Coelophora inaequalis F. They found that the Coelophora larva was much more efficient because it was capable of masticating and chewing the prey, whereas the Apolinus larva uses exclusively extra-oral digestion, apparently not being capable of masticating the prey because of its apically unidentate mandibles.

Coccidophagous species feed on stationary prey that may be ingested whole if small. If larger, the coccinellid bites the scale covers, sometimes lifting them from the substrate first, and then chews the body. Cannibalism occurs frequently among all coccinellids. On emerging, first instar larvae will often feed on unhatched eggs of their own species.

Early instar larvae and pupae are also preyed upon by later instars Fig.

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The fully grown fourth instar larva stops feeding and attaches itself to the substrate using an anal pad cremaster. There it remains during a quiescent prepupal stage of several hours until it moults once again, this time transforming into a pupa. Pupation occurs in protected areas on foliage or bark in the immediate vicinity of the host. Clausen reported that larvae of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Mulsant aggregate before pupation, pupating in large numbers at the base of the trunk or in litter.

The pupal stage lasts about 7—14 days. The adult beetle emerges from the pupal skin through a slit at the front of the dorsal surface Majerus The body of the teneral adult is pale and the wings are extended. It takes several hours for the cuticle to harden and develop the characteristic colour pattern. For quite some time freshly emerged specimens remain distinctly lighter than specimens from the previous generation.

Adults mate within a few days after emergence, and oviposition follows from 5 to 15 days after eclosion. Richards observed that males of Illeis galbula Mulsant are attracted to quiescent female pupae and guard them for up to four days, engaging in active combat with other approaching. This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue? Upload Sign In Join. Home Books. Save For Later. Create a List.

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Summary This book, by Australia's ladybird beetle specialist, Dr Adam Slipinski, illustrates Australia's diverse and fascinating ladybird beetle fauna — the commoner spotted species and the many others that are striped, glossy, and even very hairy. Read on the Scribd mobile app Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere.

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Australian ladybird beetles Coleoptera: Coccinellidae their biology and classification. Includes index.

Australian Ladybird Beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Their Biology and Classification

ISBN 0 7 hbk. Ladybugs - Australia. Sets of colour and black and white plates display these often beautifully colourful beetles, and their key features. The book is a must for all people interested in Australia's beetle fauna, in biocontrol and in natural resource management. Shopping Cart: empty. Search our products. Australian Ladybird Beetles Coleoptera: Coccinellidae.

Their Biology and Classification Adam Slipinski. Dr Adam Slipinski, Australia's ladybird beetle specialist, illustrates Australia's diverse and fascinating ladybird beetle fauna.