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Rhyzobius chrysomeloides in Allostock

PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:39 pm
by birderjeff
Rhyzobius chrysomeloides in Allostock:

On 29th February 2012 I was carrying out some survey research for the Cheshire Ladybird Atlas in the woodland and heathland areas of Shakerley Mere. Tapping a small Scot's Pine in the heathland I dislodged 3 Rhyzobius type inconspicuous ladybirds on to my beating tray. They averaged slightly larger than a typical specimen of Rhyzobius litura and had noticeably dark marking on the elytra and that, combined with the atypical habitat for R. litura, made me immediately suspect these were specimens of Rhyzobius chrysomeloides, a rare and recent addition to the Ladybirds of the UK. I later found several more specimens on other pines and all conformed to the typical features of R. chrysomeloides. A voucher specimen examined under a microscope displayed the diagnostic shape of the prosternal carinae which help to confirm separation from R. litura.

I have only ever had one previous specimen in Cheshire, taken late last year (2011) from a non-native pine in the Ellesmere Port area. Beware that another smaller inconspicuous ladybird is often found on Scot's Pine, namely Scymnus suturalis.

Happy hunting!

Jeff Clarke