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Aphid Predator (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)
Chilocorus nigritus (= Chilocorus nigrita)
Malaysian ladybird, Armoured scale predatorOn this page: Identification Biological Control & Distribution
Chilocorus nigritus is a small, almost hemispherical coccinellid with a body length of about 4mm (see first two pictures below). The head is dull orange yellow. The pronotum is dark brown to black in the middle, paler on the sides with orange-yellow anterolateral flaps. The elytra are shiny black with fine punctations. The underside of Chilocorus nigritus is orange-yellow to yellowish-brown. The outer, folded, margins of the elytra are dark brown to black.
First image copyright Natural History Museum under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. The Chilocorus nigritus larva (see third picture above) is yellow-brown to whitish with numerous spiny, branched protruberances on the dorsal side.
First image copyright Natural History Museum under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.
The Chilocorus nigritus larva (see third picture above) is yellow-brown to whitish with numerous spiny, branched protruberances on the dorsal side.
Biological control & Distribution
Chilocorus nigritus is a predator of scale insects, especially armoured scales (Diaspididae). The species is native to SE Asia, but has been used for classical biological control with introductions in Hawaii and parts of Europe. It is also widely used for augmentative releases in greenhouses. Ponsonby (2009) provides an excellent summary of the various biological control operations with the species and reviews the factors affecting the utility of Chilocorus nigritus as a biocontrol agent.
Suppliers of Chilocorus species
In UK Chilocorus nigritus is available from several sources for the control of scales in glasshouses including:
In Netherlands Chilocorus nigritus is available for armoured scale insect control from Entocare Biological Control Address: Hagsteed 4, 6708 PM Wageningen, PO Box 162, 6700 AD Waageningen, Netherlands; tel: 03178-411188
In Australia a related species, Chilocorus circumdatus is available for armoured scale insect control from Bugs for bugs (Biobest) Address: 3 Rocla Court, Toowoomba QLD 4350, Australia; e-mail: email@example.com; tel: +61 7 4646 2628