A Legal Immigrant

The warm Florida climate brings many invasive species to this state.  Many are destructive, taking over habitat and harming native species, threatening their very survival.  Some non-native species are not invaders, however.  Humans brought a few of them here on purpose.  One example is the red chilocorus ladybug.

Chilocorus circumdatus - Red Chilocorus
Chilocorus circumdatus – Red Chilocorus lady beetle. Lady Lake, Florida. Native to SE-Asia, introduced and established in Australia, and it was released in 1996 to control Citrus Snow Scale in Florida.

In 1996 it was released in Florida to control citrus snow scale, which was a threat to orange crops.  Native to Southeast Asia, Chilocorus circumdatus is rich orange with a black band around the base of the wing covers.  Its larva are orange with black spines, and they feed on various types of scale insects.  They are now fairly common, and can be found on many citrus trees.   

 

Unaspis citri - Citrus Snow Scale
Unaspis citri – Citrus Snow Scale. Photographed at Pine Island Preserve, Brevard County FL USA.

 

Citrus snow scale is no longer a serious threat to the citrus industry. It can be easily distinguished by the white shields of the males, which often gather in groups. This gives the appearance of snow, hence the name.

To download or purchase these photos, click on the following links:

Chilocorus circumdatus larva

Chilocorus circumdatus beetle

Citrus Snow Scale

 

 

 

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