Would someone explain what this Ladybird is clinging on to, please?
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I am intrigued to know what is going on here! The ladybird seemed to be dead (it certainly did not move in 10 minutes or so). It also seemed bright and fresh, however.
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is a common parasitoid of adult ladybirds. Search on Dinocampus in ispot to see other similar cocoons and the wasp itself. The adult wasp lays an egg in the ladybird, a grub hatches from the egg, eats mostly the non-vital organs of the ladybird and escapes from the now moribund but usually (just) alive ladybird. The grub spins a cocoon under the ladybird, eventually metamorphosing into another wasp. It's likely that the cocoon is spun under the ladybird because the moribund ladybird effectively defends it from predators as ladybirds are fairly toxic, and have warning colours. It's to the advantage of the wasp if it doesn't kill the ladybird since the ladybird's defensive reactions such as reflex bleeding from the knees will still occur. A gruesome end!
Thank you, David.
Can you explain the relationship, here, please. Has the wasp laid an egg on the ladybird, which has then lived in the ladybird, killing it, before forming an external cocoon?
Or am I just making that up?!!
Your answer beat me to the question!
Great to see this observation from Pocklington school (just down the road from where I live). Just to add that the UK ladybird (http://www.ladybird-survey.org/) and harlequin ladybird surveys (http://www.harlequin-survey.org/), in conjunction with BBC breathing places are asking for records of parasitized ladybirds (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/breathingplaces/ladybird-parasites/), and schools can get involved in a survae of ladybird pupae. There are a few records of Dinocampus and other parasitoids (e.g. phorid flies and chalcid wasps) attacking harlequin ladybirds in the UK, but more data is needed so we can see how our native natural enemies are adapting to this invasive host. Any records iSpot members can provide will be really greatly appreciated!
Thanks....I shall have a look at those sites and see what we might offer.
I see you are in Nunburnholme, so I might bump into you one day. If you see an idiot with a net and a camera in Bratt Wood, that'll be me!
May I ask please what species of chalcid wasp do you have attacking Harlequin ladybirds?
We have two species recorded from Harlequins so far - Aprostocetus neglectus and Oomyzus scaposus, but only in very low numbers. The Phorid flies Phalacrotophora berolinensis and P. fasciata have also been found in British Harlequin pupae, and in larger numbers than the Chalcids - we're very interested in any and all records!
Hi Lori :)
Record your ladybird sightings!
most interesting, I have a species of Homalotylus from the UK which may potentially be a harlequin parasitoid, although no confirmed UK rearing records yet.
They seem to be parasitoids of the larvae of mainly smaller species, so trickier than the pupal parasitoids to monitor for, but I'll keep an eye out for them!
Lat/Lng: 53.9, -0.8
OS grid ref: SE7948