Rediscovery of a Ladybird Beetle

5 October 2014

Nothing of note for my first stop so my second was to visit a swamp near where I had seen Caladenia latifolia (Pink Fairies) previously, but always too late in the season. Although I was perhaps a week too late for their peak, it turned out they were still in good flower.

I had visited this site only once previously several years ago, early on in my Hemiphlebia mirabilis range explorations. At that time the swamp was completely dry and I didn't expect much if any water on this occasion. There did turn out to be a fair amount of water, which meant I couldn't actually get to where I wanted to go so I just stalked around the edge in my gumboots. Most of this area contained dense Triglochin aff. procera (water-ribbons) in 20–30cm of water but more than that, there were numerous long-legged flies (Dolichopodidae) and ladybird beetles.

As it turned out, the ladybirds took some effort to identify but were eventually confirmed as Micraspis flavovittata, a species last recorded in 1949 and with only four specimens having ever been collected. For purposes including the advancement of interest in nature and science I participated in commercialising this information for others (The Age link. Hopefully others will be inspired to learn and share information for all. With one of my last emails I was able to provide some late information before I ran out of credit and was in internet darkness for almost a week so by the time I was back online the unknown insect had been positively identified. Interestingly, the two previous locations it was known from was Narbethong and Kallista, quite close to my home. Needless to say this was a new species for me. :)

At the time I didn't know this was a rare Coccinellidae but as it was new to me I at least took enough photos. I didn't count or survey them properly but estimate I saw in the order of 40–50 individuals (no mating). Perhaps other people have seen them too and either not noted them or didn't have the right contacts to be able to identify them (myself included). These days I try to photograph everything, particularly things that are relatively easy to identify, like lady beetles. We shall see if they pop up more often now...

Information is free but getting it is not — me, just then.

image/jpegbeetle ladybird Micraspis flavovittata Nelson141005-1276.jpg i05-Oct-2014 10:26  76.5 KB 640×640
image/jpegbeetle ladybird Micraspis flavovittata Nelson141005-1283.jpg i05-Oct-2014 10:38  65 KB 800×640
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image/jpegbeetle ladybird Micraspis flavovittata Nelson141005-1307.jpg i05-Oct-2014 11:03 110 KB 800×640
image/jpegbeetle ladybird Micraspis flavovittata Nelson141005-1326.jpg i05-Oct-2014 12:24  92.6 KB 800×640
image/jpegbutterfly Belenois java teutonia ♀ DiscoveryBay141005-1237.jpg i05-Oct-2014 09:57  72.6 KB 960×720
image/jpegfly (Dolichopodidae) DiscoveryBay141005-1288.jpg i05-Oct-2014 10:42  81.8 KB 640×512
image/jpegfly (Dolichopodidae) DiscoveryBay141005-1293.jpg i05-Oct-2014 10:45  43.8 KB 720×560
image/jpegfungus Lichenomphalia sp LowerGlenelg141005-1393.jpg i05-Oct-2014 16:43 105 KB 880×560
image/jpegleech DiscoveryBay141005-1298.jpg i05-Oct-2014 10:53  58.1 KB 480×640
image/jpegorchid Caladenia carnea LowerGlenelg141005-1425.jpg i05-Oct-2014 18:02  46.8 KB 880×720
image/jpegorchid Caladenia latifolia DiscoveryBay141005-1206.jpg i05-Oct-2014 09:36  64.2 KB 960×1200
image/jpegorchid Caladenia latifolia DiscoveryBay141005-1246.jpg i05-Oct-2014 10:00  41.6 KB 800×608
image/jpegorchid Caladenia latifolia DiscoveryBay141005-1334.jpg i05-Oct-2014 13:13  80.1 KB 880×1120
image/jpegorchid Caladenia latifolia DiscoveryBay141005-1344.jpg i05-Oct-2014 13:18  80.1 KB 1120×848
image/jpegorchid Glossodia major (aberrant) LowerGlenelg141005-1402.jpg i05-Oct-2014 16:57  84.3 KB 880×1120
image/jpegscene Glenelg River 141005-1354.jpg i05-Oct-2014 14:19  75.2 KB 720×480
image/jpegscene swamp Nelson141005-1268.jpg i05-Oct-2014 10:18  91.5 KB 720×480
image/jpegsnake Austrelaps superbus DiscoveryBay141005-1313.jpg i05-Oct-2014 11:10  68.5 KB 720×512
image/jpegsnake Notechis scutatus LowerGlenelg141005-1358.jpg i05-Oct-2014 14:46  73.4 KB 1024×560
image/jpegsnake Notechis scutatus LowerGlenelg141005-1370.jpg i05-Oct-2014 14:50  98.3 KB 1024×768

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