Lady Beetles (Epilachna sp., Epilachninae, Coccinellidae), larva and adult beetle

The Epilachninae superficially look much like other ladybirds in the larger subfamily Coccinellinae, but they differ importantly in their biology, in that the members of the subfamily are largely or completely herbivorous instead of predatory. Accordingly, several members of the subfamily are crop pests and sometimes cause locally serious crop losses. Among the crop plants they attack are grains such as maize, and legumes such as beans, including soya.

Lady Beetle (Epilachna sp., Epilachninae, Coccinellidae)

Generally, members of the Epilachninae attack plants by scraping one face of a leaf, largely leaving the larger veins and the epidermis on the far face more or less intact (see larval image above). As a rule, the beetles (i.e. the adults) will feed on the upper surface of the leaf, whereas the larvae feed on the lower surface. Any given species leaves characteristic marks on the leaf as it eats; for example, those that feed on maize tend to feed in long streaks parallel with the veins of the plant. Those feeding on Solanaceae leaves are more inclined to leave little arcs of skeletonised leaf.

by Sinobug (itchydogimages) on Flickr.
Pu’er, Yunnan, China

See more Chinese beetles on my Flickr site HERE…..

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