WhatsThat's picture

Dinocampus coccinellae

Observed: 3rd July 2012 By: WhatsThatWhatsThat’s reputation in InvertebratesWhatsThat’s reputation in InvertebratesWhatsThat’s reputation in Invertebrates
Dinocampus coccinellae
Dinocampus coccinellae
7 spot ladbird (Coccinella septempunctata) with pupal case of Dinocampus coccinellae

parasitised 7 spot ladbird (Coccinella septempunctata) located on Common Gorse (Ulex europaeus). Pupal case clearly visible together with host. Dinocampus coccinellae emerged from pupal case after a period of 13 days. Once free from the pupal case the ladybird became active and walked off.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Dinocampus coccinellae interacts


Nick Upton's picture


Great observation... and what a weird parasitism story. Can't believe the 'zombie" ladybird woke up and lived on, but apparently 25% do survive despite having some of their innards munched on by the wasp larva... The basics are described well here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinocampus_coccinellae Not sure what their life expectancy is after the wasp's attentions, or if they go on to breed (most are females) but parasites that don't kill their hosts leave a bigger pool for their offspring to target. Clever stuff...

Nick Upton, naturalist and photographer.

WhatsThat's picture

Thanks Nick

Thanks Nick,

I retained the 7 spot and pupa in a pot on my desk waiting to see Dinocampus coccinellae emerge. It was a bit disconcerting to see the ladybird in its 'zombie' state as you quite rightly describe it, but I was amazed to see once it was free of the case it became quite active. I let it go but in hindsight I should have retained it to see if the process of parasitism occurred again with the female Dinocampus coccinellae having been in the pot for a least a day with its host 7 spot.

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