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Aphid Predator (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)

Coccinella undecimpunctata

Eleven-spot ladybird

On this page: Identification Biological Control & Distribution

Identification

Coccinella undecimpunctata is medium-sized ladybird with a body length of 4-5 mm. The elytra are red, usually with 11 black spots (see first picture above), but the small front spots may become very small, almost invisible. The pronotum is black with antero-lateral white marks.. The head is black with two white dots (see second picture above). The underside and the legs of Coccinella undecimpunctata are black.

Third image above copyright Gilles San Martin under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

The fourth instar larva (see third picture above) of Coccinella undecimpunctata is similar to that of Coccinella septempunctata in that it is grey-black with orange dorso-lateral and ventro-lateral tubercles on abdominal segments one and four. However, it lacks the conspicuous orange patches on the prothorax which are characteristic of the larva of the seven-spot ladybird.

Biological control & Distribution

Coccinella undecimpunctata is found in many habitat types with low growing vegetation, but is especially characteristic of coastal and estuarine habitats such as dune systems and salt marshes. It feeds on aphids, especially grassland and herb species. It is native to Europe, Asia and North America, but has been introduced to Australia and New Zealand for biological control purposes. It has also been used for augmentative biological control, for example for control of Aphis gossypii and Myzus persicae on cucumber crops (Abd El-Gawad & El-Zoghbey, 2009) .

Acknowledgements

For coccinellid identification we have used Hackston for the key characteristics, together with the latest Wikipediaaccount for each species. For aphids we have made provisional identifications from photos of living specimens, along with host plant identity using the keys and species accounts of Blackman & Eastop (1994) and Blackman & Eastop (2006) supplemented with Blackman (1974), Stroyan (1977), Stroyan (1984), Blackman & Eastop (1984), Heie (1980-1995), Dixon & Thieme (2007) and Blackman (2010). We fully acknowledge these authors as the source for the (summarized) taxonomic information we have presented. Any errors in identification or information are ours alone, and we would be very grateful for any corrections. For assistance on the terms used for aphid morphology we suggest the figure provided by Blackman & Eastop (2006).

Useful weblinks

References

  • Abd El-Gawad & El-Zoghbey (2009). Use of Coccinella undecimpunctata L. for controlling Aphis gossypii Glover and Myzus persicae (Sulzer) on cucumber in Egypt. Egyptian Academy Journal of Biological Sciences 2(1), 81-85. Full text