Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Eureka Finding of Maculate Ladybird (Harmonia octamaculata)

I went to get some food for the pairs at the vege garden in UPM this morning and accidentally ran into Maculate ladybirds!. That was a fascinating finding! I have been looking for them for a year already and finally I found them. They could not be found within the vege garden (JPT) before, instead, this morning, they were found on a grassy area (at the edge of the garden). I managed to collect five of them on goosegrass (Eleusine indica) while they were feeding on Eleusine aphid (Hysteroneura setariae). At first, I thought it was a Transverse ladybird since the coloration was almost similar. Then, I got down on my knee and put them into a vial. Goodness! The size was big, even bigger than that of Transverse ladybird; almost as the same as the size of Harmonia sedecimpunctata. Then, when I checked the marking patterns on its prothorax and elytra, I realized I have seen this markings before and it belonged to that of Maculate ladybird.

CiB1 is a Female!

Yesterday evening, I made a simple copulation test to investigate the sex of CiB1. I caught four wild Coelophora inaequalis and placed the females (spotted and spotless formae) and the males (spotless and spectabilis formae) into separate vials. Firstly, I tested the males with CiB1; I put one spotless male ladybird together in one vial along with well-fed CiB1 and voila!; when they came into contact with each other, the spotless male immediately grabed CiB1 on the back and started beating its antennae on the CiB1's elytra. Afterwards, the male lowered the tip of its abdomen as if it wanted to attach it to the tip of CiB1's abdomen. After the two minute copulation, mating finally took place and I was very sure now that CiB1 was a female. I released the rest of the ladybirds and sticked to the male spotless ladybird. The mating took place for two hours on and off. This morning, I woke up and saw they were still mating lol! (there is a reason for this). I checked the food (aphids) and still they were plenty but seemed like I would have to get some more today. I look forward to getting the eggs for my next observation.

CiB1 (melanic one) is definitely a female!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My First Indoor-Bred Melanic Form Coelophora inequalis

Yesterday evening, when I got off from work, I noticed that the pupa of Coelophora inequalis was empty which was reared from an egg previously obtained from a caught female melanic C. inequalis in UPM. In the last observation, I mated a spotted C. inaequalis and the melanic form together and collected 12 eggs. However, only one egg survived up to the adult stage while the rest only made up to the 2nd larval stage. This meant that the ladybird was my first indoor-bred C. inaequalis and the interesting part was, the ladybird was a melanic forma. I named the ladybird, CiB1. I kept feeding CiB1 with lots of ragi aphid to maintain it before finding out the sex. If it is a female then, I would try to mate it with a wild male spectabilis form of C. inaequalis to get the eggs and observe the frequency and ratio of the melanic form. If it is a male, then I would have to wait for one indoor-breed spectabilis female (there is a reason for this). For this first observation, I would mate the indoor-bred melanic form with a spectabilis form of C. inaequalis. Progress will be updated soon...

You can see the melanic (black) ladybird is CiB1. I bet (she) is so adorable. The spotless orange type is the wild male.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Melanic form of Variable Ladybird (continue from the previous post)

A ; B
C; D
A. Spectabilis form; B. Spotted form; C. Spotless form; D. Melanic form
Yes, it was the melanic (black) form of Coelophora inaequalis. My first observation: Mating the black form (previously thought as Curinus coeroelous) with the spectabilis form of Coelophora inaequalis: And it took place!. So, the black form was not Curinus coeroleous after all! Instead it was the melanic form of Coelophora inaequalis. I was lucky to collect it since, during my previous observations, I have never come across the melanic form, not even once, all I have usually encountered were the spectabilis, spotless orange color and spotted formae. In one book on Indonesian ladybirds, it stated that there is a melanic form of Coelophora inaequalis. So, I was very sure that the one that I caught was the melanic form. I am waiting for another two obersevations....

Malaysian Ladybird Pictures

Finally, I managed to post up all the ladybird pictures from my mini collection. The scientific names are not all correct and accurate, since I am not a taxonomist. Most of them are based on that of Dr. J. Poorani's website and the Indonesian ladybird book (old book). So far, i have collected more than 20 species. Hope this can be a good start to embark a survey or studies on Malaysian ladybirds or to make a book on them in the future.

Pictures of Malaysian Ladybirds II (Unidentified)

A. Unknown species

B. Oenopia or Harmonia axyridis?; A.; A.

C. Rodolia spp; C. Scymnus spp (?)

D. Serangium spp (?); D. ;D.

E. Sthethorus spp (?);E.; F. Unknown ladybird spp

G. Unknown ladybird spp G.
H. Stethorus spp?; H.; H
I. Unknown all red ladybird spp; J. Unknown red with whitish on thorax; J

K. Unknown ladybird spp with four black spots; L. Pharoscymnus hornii (?)
M. Unknown all black ladybird spp

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Pictures of Malaysian Ladybirds I (Identified)

A. Menochilus sexmaculatus; variation and pupa, eggs
B. Coccinella transversalis; larva and pupa
C-1. Coelophora inaequalis; and the variations
C.Coelophora inaequalis; and the variations
D. Chilocorus politus; adult, larva, pupa
E.Chilocorus politus; F. Chilocorus spp
G. Coccinella bisellata; H. Brumus suturalis

I. Cryptogonus orbiculus; same
J. Cryptogonus postmedialis; same
K. Scymnus apiciflavus; same
L. Henosepilachna indica: M. Henosepilachna implicata
N. Harmonia octamaculata; variation; pupa
O. Harmonia sedecimpunctata; P. Illeis bistigmosa
Q. Micraspis afflicta; S. Micraspis discolor


Cheeky Ladybirds....