Overview

Distribution

Geographic Range

Although native to Australia, Rodolia cardinalis flourishes today throughout Australia, the United States, and Europe in areas where citrus is grown.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Introduced ); palearctic (Introduced ); australian (Native )

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

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.

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: sexes colored or patterned differently; female more colorful

  • Borror, D., R. White. 1970. A Field Guide to Insects. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
  • Essig, E. 1926. Insects of North America. New York: The Macmillan Company.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Rodolia cardinalis are specialists, feeding on Icerya purchasi which in turn specialize on citrus trees. For this reason, Rodolia cardinalis 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.

Habitat Regions: tropical ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland

Other Habitat Features: suburban ; agricultural

  • Buchsbaum, R., M. Buchsbaum, J. Pearse, V. Pearse. 1987. Animals Without Backbones. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

Both adults and larvae are voracious predators. Homopteran pests including aphids, scale insects, mealy bugs, and mites are food for R. cardinalis. Adults and larvae search the foliage of bushes and trees in search of prey.

Animal Foods: insects

Primary Diet: carnivore (Insectivore )

  • Burton, J. 1968. The Oxford Book of Insects. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

Rodolia cardinalis reproduces sexually. In warm climates there are several generations each year. The bright red eggs are laid on the egg sac of the cottony cushion scale in small, closely packed masses of one or two dozen. Upon hatching, the small pinkish larvae immediately enter the sac and feed on the scale eggs. These larvae are usually found in aphid colonies.

Range eggs per season: 150 to 190.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; year-round breeding ; sexual ; fertilization (Internal ); oviparous

  • Borror, D., R. White. 1970. A Field Guide to Insects. Boston: Houghton Mifflin 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.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Rodolia cardinalis

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


No available public DNA sequences.

Download FASTA File
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Rodolia cardinalis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

Rodolia cardinalis is extremely sensitive to some insecticides such as Baythroid, commonly used on citrus crops. Global populations are strong however, and require no special conservation status.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

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.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Rodolia cardinalis is used commercially to combat scale insects injurious to citrus orchards, specifically 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.

Positive Impacts: controls pest population

  • Bellamy, C., A. Evans. 1996. An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles. New York: Henry Holt and Company, Inc..
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Rodolia cardinalis

Rodolia cardinalis (common names vedalia beetle[1] or cardinal ladybird) is a species of ladybird beetle that is sometimes described as endemic to Australia.[1]

As introduced biological control agent[edit]

New Zealand[edit]

R. cardinalis was accidentally introduced to New Zealand, though they are no longer very common.[2] An outbreak of cottony cushion scale in California took place in the late 19th century, which led to some being imported from New Zealand in 1888 to help protect citrus trees.[2] They are red with black markings, and about 4mm long.[2]

California[edit]

R. cardinalis was introduced into Californian citrus orchards in late 1888.[1][2]

Description[edit]

The adult has a semispherical body, 2-4mm long, covered with dense, short hairs. It is reddish-purple with black spots localized in several parts of its body, forming a net of contours between the spots. The head, posterior part of the prothorax across the full width, and the scutellum are all black.

There are typically five black spots on the elytron. Four of those are arranged on the dorso-lateral part of the elytron. The two anterior spots form an roughly half-moon shaped oval with the convexity directed towards the suture of the elytron. The two posterior ones make a more irregular shape, formed by the intersection of two circular spots. Finally, the fifth spot covers the length of the elytron's suture, englarging towards the posterior stretch.

The antenna are short and slightly clubbed, composed of 8 items, of which the proximal is markedly pulled aside. The legs have an extended and irregularly flattened tibia, forming a space housing the tarsus when at rest. The tarsus is composed of 3 tarsomeri.

The larva is around 5mm long, coloured the same red as the mature beetle, with black spots on the thorax. The left side has a series of tubercles, each with short bristles on. The pupa is 4-5mm long. It is a red which darkens with age in as the abdomen darkens.

Diet[edit]

R. Cardinalis regularly feed on aphids and small mites, which makes them good as biological control agents. They are only predatory to things smaller than them. Most of their food is herbivores, as carnivores are more likely to injure them as they are slow. Their flying capacities are limited so hunting in the air is not possible.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Vedalia Beetle, Rodolia cardinalis". www.nysaes.cornell.edu Cornell. 2008-01-30. Retrieved 2009-05-13. 
  2. ^ a b c d Crowe, A. (2002). Which New Zealand Insect?. Auckland, N.Z.: Penguin. p. 47. ISBN 0-14-100636-6. 


Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!