Icerya purchasi which in turn specialize on citrus trees. For this reason, live in citrus orchards and nearby hills and scrubland in areas where Icerya purchasi are also found. In addition to citrus, cottony cussion scales are found on Acacia, boxwood, citrus, magnolia, Nandina, olive, Pittosporum, and rose plants, which therefor additionally provide habitat for the vedalia beetle. (Buchsbaum, et al., 1987; Weeden, et al., 2004)are specialists, feeding on
- Terrestrial Biomes
- savanna or grassland
This species of ladybeetle, like others, has a very distinctive shape. The body is broadly oval to nearly spherical, and is strongly convex dorsally and nearly flat ventrally. The head has short antennae and is partly or completely concealed by the pronotum. Females are very red in color, while males are more black although fine body hairs often obscure the color pattern and give a decidedly grey appearance. Eggs are bright red. Mature larvae are pinkish with black markings and often have a blueish tinge. (Borror and White, 1970; Essig, 1926)
- Sexual Dimorphism
- sexes colored or patterned differently
- female more colorful
- Range eggs per season
- 150 to 190
Vedalia beetles are commonly seen on plants and often overwinter as adults in large swarms under fallen leaves or bark. Wintering aggregations are collected by the bushel from high California hills and sold to citrus growers. In early spring the beetles are liberated in orchards; others make their own way down into valleys where citrus is grown. During the dry season, new generations return to a high, cool refuge. The success of the insect is due to the rapidity of development, hardiness, and their greedy appetites. (Borror, et al., 1981; Buchsbaum, et al., 1987; Milne and Milne, 1980)
- Animal Foods
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Icerya purchasi, the cottony cushion scale. Orchard owners use this form of Integrated Pest Management(IPM)--use of a variety of strategies for the control of insect pests, including cultural, chemical, and biological controls while restricting and altering the use of pesticides--to control a pest population always present. The natural predator of Icerya Purchasi is used (R.cardinalis) instead of pesticides and other such materials. Aggregations of the beetle are collected by the bushel and sold to citrus growers. When imported from Australia to California in the 19th century,they brought with them no natural predators, making them an ideal animal to use for pest management. (Bellamy and Evans, 1996; Burton, 1968)is used commercially to combat scale insects injurious to citrus orchards, specifically
- Positive Impacts
- controls pest population
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
In its North American habitat, the vedalia beetle has no natural predators and so can outcompete native ladybugs which also offer important pest control benefits.
In the Middle Ages, certain species of coccinellid beetles were dedicated to the Virgin Mary and named "beetles of Our Lady." As time progressed ladybird beetles, ladybirds, or ladybugs became popular names with English-speaking children.
Icerya purchasi, a cottony cushion scale (and also from Australia), was introduced to California accidentally as a serious pest of citrus in California. In 1888-1889 was intentionally introduced to California because it was a natural predator of the scale. In less than 2 years the scale was under complete control and adapted and flourished in the new environment. Its distribution now includes Australia, the United States, and Europe. (Bellamy and Evans, 1996; Borror, et al., 1981; Weeden, et al., 2004)is native to Australia. However, in 1868
Sara Diamond (editor), Animal Diversity Web.
Heather Martin (author), Southwestern University, Stephanie Fabritius (editor), Southwestern University.
Living in Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, New Guinea and associated islands.
living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.
living in the northern part of the Old World. In otherwords, Europe and Asia and northern Africa.
living in landscapes dominated by human agriculture.
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
an animal that mainly eats meat
used loosely to describe any group of organisms living together or in close proximity to each other - for example nesting shorebirds that live in large colonies. More specifically refers to a group of organisms in which members act as specialized subunits (a continuous, modular society) - as in clonal organisms.
- active during the day, 2. lasting for one day.
animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature
union of egg and spermatozoan
having a body temperature that fluctuates with that of the immediate environment; having no mechanism or a poorly developed mechanism for regulating internal body temperature.
the state that some animals enter during winter in which normal physiological processes are significantly reduced, thus lowering the animal's energy requirements. The act or condition of passing winter in a torpid or resting state, typically involving the abandonment of homoiothermy in mammals.
An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.
- internal fertilization
fertilization takes place within the female's body
referring to animal species that have been transported to and established populations in regions outside of their natural range, usually through human action.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
living in residential areas on the outskirts of large cities or towns.
Living on the ground.
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
- tropical savanna and grassland
A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.
A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.
- temperate grassland
A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.
- year-round breeding
breeding takes place throughout the year
Bellamy, C., A. Evans. 1996. An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles. New York: Henry Holt and Company, Inc..
Borror, D., D. Long, C. Triplehorn. 1981. An Introduction to the Study of Insects. Philadelphia: Saunders College Publishing.
Borror, D., R. White. 1970. A Field Guide to Insects. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Buchsbaum, R., M. Buchsbaum, J. Pearse, V. Pearse. 1987. Animals Without Backbones. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Burton, J. 1968. The Oxford Book of Insects. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Essig, E. 1926. Insects of North America. New York: The Macmillan Company.
Milne, L., M. Milne. 1980. The Audobon Society Field Guide to NOrth Americna Insects and Spiders. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
Waldbauer, G. 2000. Millions of Monarchs, Bunches of Beetles. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
Weeden, , Shelton, Li, Hoffman. 2004. "Cornell University, Biological Control" (On-line). Accessed April 07, 2005 at http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/ent/biocontrol/predators/rodolia_cardinalis.html.