This summer, I ran into a few more parasitized ladybugs and even reared the ???????????????????????????????wasp. This is a blog post from a previous encounter. The photo above shows Coccinella septempunctata moving, but unable to leave, above the pupa of Dinocampus coccinellae. Recently I have been running into a lot of D. coccinellae information in the course of researching a different project:

Dinocampus coccinellae is cosmopolitan (Hudon 1959) and can overwinter in the host (Cushman 1913). It is not always fatal, Timberlake (1916) found two beetles were hosts twice; but death usually comes to the host 3-4 days post emergence (Sluss 1968). Richerson and DeLoach (1973) examined 10 species of ladybug and found D. coccinellae to be a parasite of all but Scymnus sp.

One of the things I have always thought to be cool, is the wasp does not abandon the host when it pupates, but uses the aposematically colored host as shield. Blount et al. (2012) showed that the color of Coccinella septempunctata is an honest advertisement of amount of toxicity within. AlAbassi et al. (2001) demonstrated that the toxic chemical chemical is an attractant for D. coccinellae. Now that I know just a bit more, this whole system is even cooler.


Al Abassi, S., Birkett, M. A., Pettersson, J., Pickett, J. A., Wadhams, L. J., & Woodcock, C. M. 2001. Response of the ladybird parasitoid Dinocampus coccinellae to toxic alkaloids from the seven-spot ladybird, Coccinella septempunctata. Journal of chemical ecology, 27(1), 33-43.

Balduf, W. V. 1926. The bionomics of Dinocampus coccinellae Schrank. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 19: 465-498.

Blount, Jonathan D., Hannah M. Rowland, Falko P. Drijfhout, John A. Endler, Richard Inger, John J. Sloggett, Gregory DD Hurst, David J. Hodgson, and Michael P. Speed. 2012. How the ladybird got its spots: effects of resource limitation on the honesty of aposematic signals. Functional Ecology. 26.2: 334-342.

Cushman, R. A. 1913. Biological notes on a few rare or little known parasitic Hymenoptera. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of  Washington 15:153-155.

Hudon, M. 1959. First record of Perilitus coccinellae (Schrank)(Hymenoptera: Braconidae) as a parasite of Coccinella novemnotata Hbst. and Coleomegilla maculata lengi Timb.(Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in Canada. The Canadian Entomologist 91.01: 63-64.

Richerson, J. V., & DeLoach, C. J. 1973. Seasonal abundance of Perilitus coccinellae and its coccinellid hosts and degree of parasitism in central Missouri. Environmental Entomology 2.1: 138-141.

Sluss, R. 1968. Behavior and anatomical responses of the convergent lady beetle to parasitism by Perilitus coccinellae (Schrank) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). Journal of Invertebrate PathoIogy 10: 9-27.

Timberlake, P. H. 1916. Note on an interesting case of w o generations of a parasite reared from the same individual host. Can. Ent. 48: 89-91.



2 thoughts on “Dinocampus!

  1. George Sims

    While spending Christmas at my brother-in-law’s home, I noticed quite a few rather desicated ladybugs in the corners of the dining room windows. I grabbed about a half-dozen, and asked my sister-in-law if I could have them for my collection (H. axyridis, I’m pretty sure, but I’d never gotten any from Louisiana). She agreed. Then I told her, “I can get fifty bucks apiece for these” and walked away.

    1. biologistsoup Post author

      Hey George! Way cool! I bet your sister-in-law was pretty impressed that you could get $50/beetle (and not share)! Be sure to send some of your ‘photographs’ of these specimens to the Lost Ladybug Project (www.lostladybug.org) – they only have 37 records from Louisiana (http://www.lostladybug.org/summary-by-country-1097.php). Chapin and Brou (1991) found the first North American Harmonia axyridis population in Louisiana – but you probably already knew that…

      Chapin, J.B., and V.A. Brou. 1991. Harmonia axyridis Pallas, the third species of the genus to be found in the United States (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 93: 630-635.


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