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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Biological Control of Pests Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #321939

Title: Gold: a unique pigmentation defective laboratory strain of the lady beetle

item Allen, Margaret - Meg

Submitted to: Advances in Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/8/2016
Publication Date: 1/11/2016
Publication URL:
Citation: Allen, M.L. 2016. Gold: a unique pigmentation defective laboratory strain of the lady beetle. Advances in Entomology. 4:11-18.

Interpretive Summary: Native North American lady beetles were bred in the laboratory, and selected for color and pattern types. A selected strain named “gold” is described. The strain is very pale in color and has dark eyes like wild insects. Complex breeding experiments were needed to show that the color is inherited from two gene locations. Unlike other lab bred strains, these insects were smaller, laid fewer eggs, and appeared generally less healthy. This research will help scientists understand how and why lady beetles have their colors, and how colors and health may be related.

Technical Abstract: A laboratory colony of Coleomegilla maculata (DeGeer) was selected for a novel phenotypic color trait. The phenotype was paler in color than the wild type, although not as pale as a previously described mutant strain, yellow (ye), and retained dark pigmentation in the eyes. This selected strain was named gold. Mendelian breeding experiments indicate a recessive biallelic inheritance. The strain has decreased fitness characteristics based on measurements of egg production and pupa size.