Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Coleoptera

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Including Epilachnidae.

Lady-birds, etc.

General appearance. 1.2–9 mm long. Body length/maximum body width 1–2.15. Elytral length/pronotal length 2.2–5.5. Base of prothorax not or scarcely narrower than the combined elytral bases, or distinctly narrower than the combined elytral bases. Greatest prothoracic width not narrower or only slightly narrower than the greatest elytral width, or distinctly narrower than greatest elytral width. Beetles broadly oval, or round, or elongate-oval; dorsally strongly convex; not necked; conspicuously waisted; yellow, red, orange, black, often bicoloured or spotted; exhibiting bright ‘warning colours’, or without ‘warning colouration’. Upper surfaces of body glabrous or subglabrous, or non-glabrous; exhibiting stiff, erect, dark bristles, or not bristly; with neither scales nor scale-like setae.

Detailed morphology. Beetles not prognathous. Inclination of the head slight. Eyes not strongly protuberant; bristly, or without bristles. The labrum at least partly visible in antero-dorsal view; labrum mostly moderately to heavily sclerotized. Mandibles with a reduced mola, or without a mola; with well developed prosthecae to without prosthecae. The mandibular apices simple, or bidentate or bilobed, or multidentate or multilobed. The incisor edges of the mandibles simple, or with a single tooth, or with two or more teeth. The maxillae with distinct galea and lacinia apically to the palp. The apical segment of the maxillary palps cylindrical to fusiform, or somewhat expanded and truncate to subtriangular, or securiform to cultriform. The apical segment of the labial palps not expanded apically. Antennae very short to short; (7–)11 segmented. Antennal scape not swollen. Antennae clubbed. Antennal clubs 3 segmented. Antennal insertions visible from above, or hidden from above; not in fossae.

Cervical sclerites present, or absent. Prothorax shorter than wide. Pronotal length/maximum pronotal width 0.3–0.85. The pronotum with lateral keels (pronotal carinae); keels complete. Prothorax at its widest markedly narrower than the adjoining part of the abdomen, or not markedly narrower than the adjoining part of the abdomen. Prothorax without notopleural sutures. Scutellum conspicuous, or highly reduced; elevated above the mesoscutum in lateral view; anteriorly simple; posteriorly narrowly rounded or acute. The prosternal process slightly overlapping the mesoventrite to moderately or strongly overlapping the mesoventrite. Metaventrite without a transverse groove. The fore-leg coxae countersunk in ‘procoxal cavities’. The fore-leg coxal cavities open behind externally; broadly open, or narrowly open; narrowly separated, or quite widely separated; strongly transverse, or slightly transverse; with narrow lateral extensions, or without lateral extensions; internally closed by a slender bar. The mid-leg coxae countersunk in ‘mesocoxal cavities’; separated by less than the shortest diameter of the cavity to more than the shortest diameter of the cavity. The mid-leg coxal cavities moderately to widely separated; not or scarcely oblique; open laterally. Hind-leg coxae widely separated; not markedly extended laterally; not shaped posteriorly to receive the femur. Tarsal segmentation formula ostensibly 3, 3, 3 (actually 4 4 4 with a minute third segment). The tarsi exhibiting bilobed segments; with a tiny penultimate segment hidden by distal lobing of the fourth and fused to the fifth. Front tarsi with as many segments as the mid-tarsi; 4-segmented. Mid-leg tarsi 4-segmented; pseudotrimeous; the penultimate segment not distinctly shorter than the antepenultimate one, or distinctly shorter than the antepenultimate one. The claws of the mid-leg tarsi not appendaged. The claws of the mid-leg tarsi one-toothed or bifid (appendiculate); without an associated empodium. Hind tarsi with as many segments as the mid-tarsi; 4-segmented.

Elytral length/maximum width across the elytra 0.85–1.5. Elytra covering most to all of the abdomen; exposing no more than part of the terminal tergite; glossy; glabrous (usually), or non-glabrous (rarely). Elytra apunctate, irregularly punctate, or each with fewer than 6 longitudinal lines of punctures or impressed striae. Scutellary striole absent. Wings well developed, or absent or much reduced. Wings with an anal lobe, or without an anal lobe. Wings without a medial fleck. Abdominal sternites 5–6; all articulated and moveable, or comprising both fused and moveable components. Basal abdominal sternites immovably joined when present, 2. Abdominal segment 8 apparently without functional spiracles. The male external genitalia cucujiform.

Adult habitat, ecology. Predacious (mostly, feeding on aphids and other small invertebrates), or not predacious (Epilachnidae feeding on foliage of Cucurbitaceae and Solanaceae); on living vegetation; when not predacious, phytophagous (including some pests), or mycetophagous.

Larvae. Mature larvae minute (less than 3 mm long), or small to medium-sized. The larvae campodeiform; elongate and more or less parallel-sided, or oblong to ovate. Body circular in cross-section, or somewhat flattened. Vestiture restricted to fine hairs or setae, or not restricted to fine hairs or setae. The larvae dorsally heavily pigmented or sclerotized, or dorsally only very lightly pigmented or sclerotized; ventrally more or less heavily pigmented, or ventrally only very lightly pigmented. The antennae 1–3 segmented. Stemmata present; on either side of the larval head 3. The frontoclypeal suture between frons and clypeus indistinct or absent, or distinct. The labrum and head capsule separated by a complete suture. Apices of the mandibles with a single lobe or tooth, or bilobed or bidentate, or multilobed or multidentate. The maxillary palps 2 segmented, or 3 segmented. The labium without ligula between the palps. Labial palps present and segmented; 1 segmented, or 2 segmented. Mesothoracic legs present and segmented; 5 segmented; with 1 moveable claw. Visible abdominal segments 10. Tergum 9 of the abdomen entirely dorsal, or extending to the underside. The abdomen having functional spiracles on anterior segments (these annular); without spiracular tubes. The abdominal apex without a respiratory chamber. Abdominal tergum 8 without amature. The last abdominal segment without cerci.

Larvae predacious, or not predacious (epilachnid larve feeding on foliage of Cucurbitaceae and Solanaceae,cf. the adults); in living vegetation.

The larvae active, campodeiform with well developed legs, the body tuberculate or spinose, commonly grey and spotted with paler colours. Pupae usually conspicuously coloured, with no cocoon.

Classification. Suborder Polyphaga; Superfamily Cucujoidea.

Representation in Britain and Ireland, and worldwide. Over 5000 species worldwide. 42 species in Britain; genera in Britain 27; Adalia, Adonia, Anatis, Anisosticta, Aphidecta, Calvia, Chilocorus, Clitostethus, Coccidula, Coccinella, Exochomus, Halyzia, Harmonia, Hippodamia, Hyperaspis, Myrrha, Neomysia, Nephus, Platynaspis, Propylea, Rhyzobius, Scymnus, Stethorus, Subcoccinella, Thea, Tytthaspis, Vibidia. E.g., Coccidula scutellata; Anatis ocellata (Ocellated Lady-bird).

General comments. Broadly ovate and very convex beetles.

Illustrations. • Coccidula scutellata (Spotted Cacidula: B. Ent. 144). • Coccidula scutellata (B. Ent. 144, legend+text). • Coccidula scutellata (B. Ent. 144, text cont.). • Anatis ocellata (Ocellated Lady-bird: B. Ent. 208). • Anatis ocellata (details, B. Ent. 208). • Anatis ocellata: B. Ent. 208, legend+text. • Anatis ocellata: B. Ent. 208, text cont.. • Adalia, Halyzia, Hyperaspis, Myrrha, Propylea, Scymnus (4 spp.), Thea, Titthaspis: Fowler 3, 82 (1889). • Fowler 3, 82 (1889): original legend.. • Adalia, Amphidecta, Anatis, Anisosticta, Coccinellia, Hippodamia, Neomysia, Subcoccinellia (with Phalacridae): Fowler 3, 81 (1889). • Fowler 3, 81 (1889): original legend.. • Chilocorus, Coccidula, Exochomus, Rhizobius, Scymnus (with Endomychidae and Erotylidae): Fowler 3, 83 (1889). • Fowler 3, 83 (1889): original legend.. • Adalia, Anatis, Coccinella, Neomysia, Nephus (with unrelated taxa): Fowler Suppl. 12, 1913. • Fowler Suppl. 12, 1913: original legend..

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Coleoptera. Version: 16th May 2016.’.