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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Systematic Entomology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #347404

Research Project: Systematics of Hemiptera and Related Groups: Plant Pests, Predators and Disease Vectors

Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory

Title: A new species of myrmecophilous lady beetle in the genus Diomus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae: Diomini) from Chiapas, Mexico that feeds on green coffee scale, Coccus viridis (Green) (Hemiptera: Coccidae)

Author
item Vandenberg, N. - Retired Ars Employee
item Iverson, Aaron - Cornell University - New York
item Liere, Heidi - Cornell University - New York

Submitted to: Zootaxa
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/2/2018
Publication Date: 5/15/2018
Citation: Vandenberg, N.J., Iverson, A., Liere, H. 2018. A new species of myrmecophilous lady beetle in the genus Diomus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae: Diomini) from Chiapas, Mexico that feeds on green coffee scale, Coccus viridis (Green) (Hemiptera: Coccidae). Zootaxa. 4420(1):113-122.

Interpretive Summary: A species of lady beetle new to science was discovered in a coffee plantation in Chiapas, Mexico feeding on green coffee scale-- a severe pest of coffee, citrus, and many other vegetable, fruit, and ornamental plants throughout most of the tropics. Green coffee scale is often found in the presence of ants, which feed on the sweet honeydew excreted by the scales and in turn protect them from many of their natural enemies. The larvae of the new lady beetle species are able to defuse ant aggression and feed on the scales undisturbed, thus providing a more effective means of suppressing the pest. The new species is described, illustrated, and diagnosed as an aid to its identification. This work will be useful to agriculturalists, biological control practitioners, and ecologists.

Technical Abstract: A new species of myrmecophilous lady beetle in the genus Diomus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae: Diomini) is described from a coffee agroecosystem in Chiapas, Mexico. The new species was found preying on the green coffee scale pest, Coccus viridis (Green), tended primarily by Azteca sericeasur Longino and Pheidole synanthropica Longino ants. The larval, pupal, and adult stages of the new species are described and habitus illustrations or photos provided along with anatomical details of the adult male and female genitalia. The species is most similar to Diomus thoracicus Fabricius (=type species of Diomus), another myrmecophile, which inhabits ant nests and feeds on ant brood. The new species has a peculiar onisciform larva that lacks dorsal setae, features which it shares with D. thoracicus. The new species is only the second species in the genus reported as a myrmecophile, although the life histories of most species have been poorly documented.