T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Ladybird (Fungus-Eating) Illeis galbula

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family :Coccinellidae
Subfamily: Coccinellinae
Tribe: Coccinellini
Genus: Illeis
Species: I. galbula
Binomial name: Illeis galbula
Common name: Fungus Eating Ladybird, Devious Ladybird.

This is a fungus-eating Ladybird which is about 5mm long with.bright yellow with black markings. It is active during the day and fast moving and it lives on plants infected with fungus or black mould. These ladybirds lay their eggs on food plants. The eggs hatch into larvae which are 8 to 10mm.long , then pupate into oval pupae before hatching out as adults. The larvae are creamy white with rows of black dots on their back. Larvae feed only on powdery mildew type of fungus (Oidium sp., Erysiphales) which infecting various plants.  The pupa are also white with rows of black dots. Both the adults and larvae feed on fungus and black mould on the plants leaves.
This is not a welcome garden pest because it spreads the fungi and mould spores to other plants. Before it hibinates it stores some of the fungi under it wing shields as food for when it comes out of hibination.

  

An adult with its distinctive black "Batman" design on its back.
  

A young adult completing transformation within an opaque shell.


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The pupal stage follows the larval stage and precedes adulthood. It is a  nonfeeding stage between the larva and adult, during which it typically undergoes complete transformation within a hardened case.
The pupa when disturbed stands up on its end.


 



Pupa and and a dicarded pupa case.


The creamy white larvae grow up to 8-10mm.. They have lines of black dots on their back and can run very fast when disturbed. 
They are usually found feeding those black mold or fungus on leaves. The larvae runs very fast when disturbed. 


Photo with a larvae 8 mm on the bottom with three older pupa on the top.