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Aphid Predator (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)

Myrrha octodecimguttata

Eighteen-spot ladybird

On this page: Identification Biological Control & Distribution

Identification

Myrrha octodecimguttata is a medium-sized elongate-oval shaped ladybird ranging in length from 4.0-5.0 mm. The typical form (see first picture below) has the elytra maroon-brown with sixteen-eighteen creamy white spots, but the spots are sometimes merged together (see second picture below). The pronotum is also brown and has conspicuous whitish sides and white spots on the anterior and posterior edges. The white markings result in a characteristic rounded brown 'M' mark on the pronotum. The Myrrha octodecimguttata head is brown with two white marks.

All three images above copyright Gilles San Martin under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License.

The larva of Myrrha octodecimguttata is light grey. The tubercles are mostly black, except for the dorsolateral and ventrolateral tubercles on the first abdominal segment which are bright orange.

Biological control & Distribution

Myrrha octodecimguttata is found in coniferous and mixed deciduous/coniferous woodland, especially in pine trees, living in the upper canopy. In northern areas it also occurs on high bogs. It feeds on conifer aphids. Nunez-Perez & Tizado (1996) recorded Myrrha octodecimguttata as a predator of both Cinara pinea, Eulachnus rileyi and Schizolachnus pineti in the León province (Spain).

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

  • Nunez-Perez, E. & Tizado, E.J. (1996). Conifer aphids (Homoptera: Aphididae) and some natural enemies in León Province (Spain). Boln. Asoc. esp. Ent 20 (1-2), 85-93. Full text