Metallic Blue Lady Beetles, Coconut Palms, Haole Koa, and the Asian Tiger Mosquito

Yesterday I found a tiny blue beetle in my parents' yard, a couple miles south of Kailua Kona, Hawaii. I knew it was a beetle, and probably a lady beetle, but that was the best I could do. With the help of iNaturalist, though, I was soon able to identify it to species (although I could use a confirmation on this) as the Metallic Blue Lady Beetle (Curinus coeruleus).

I did a bit of searching online and found that Curinus coeruleus was introduced to Hawaii in 1932 to control the coconut mealy bug (Nipeococcus nipae) and the psillid (Heteropsylla cubana) , a pest of the haole koa tree (Leucaena leucocephala).

[Leucaena leucocephala was purposefully introduced in the early nineteenth century. It has since become one of Hawaii's ten worst invasive species, according to Hawaiian Plant Life (Guffsafson, Herbst, and Rundel, 2014).]

It turns out that Curinus coeruleus larvae also like to eat the eggs of the Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus) - which is a very good thing indeed, since this mosquito is a vector of the Dengue virus in Hawaii.

Since I'm leaving Hawaii today, I probably won't be able to find and identify Aedes albopictus before I leave. But I'll spend my last few hours in paradise looking for that little beastie.

Publicado por swells swells, 04 de julio de 2016

Observaciones

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Tepeguaje Dormilón (Leucaena leucocephala)

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swells

Fecha

Julio 2, 2016 09:55 AM HST

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Cocotero (Cocos nucifera)

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swells

Fecha

Julio 3, 2016 10:09 AM HST

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swells

Fecha

Julio 3, 2016 12:36 PM HST

Comentarios

They eat mosquito larvae! That's really interesting. I need to go back through my pics from Kailua Kona to see whether I have that beetle.

Publicado por colinpurrington hace más de 4 años (Marca)

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