Micraspis frenata

>/2012/12/03/ladybird_Micraspis_frenata_Tambo121203-8249.jpg >/2009/04/19/Micraspis_frenata_WooriYallock090419-5388.jpg
Common Name=Striped Ladybird Family=Coccinellidae Genus/Species=Micraspis frenata (Erichson, 1842) Abundance &
Distribution=Common along much of eastern Australia. Until recently there was only one record on ALA of this species for Tasmania but I found it several times and in large numbers. Researching this on my return I found the Insects of Tasmania also had numerous sightings around that state and the type locality for the species is Tasmania. I'm not sure why this species had not been reported more frequently there. Description=These are medium sized ladybirds, at around 5mm long, with bold, black hooked stripes either side and all the way along the top. Habitat=These beetles can be found in grasses, weeds and flowers. Behaviour &
Observations=This species feeds on small invertebrates as well as on nectar (Hawkeswood, 1994) and on grass pollen (Hawkeswood & Turner, 2002). I have also observed them in numerous different flowers feeding on pollen. Perhaps for their preference of grassy habitat I usually encounter this species in the bush and not in gardens. Similar Species=Micraspis frenata is quite similar to {Micraspis furcifera}, which is less common and has two clearly separated spots near the front elytra (wing coverings). {Micraspis flavovittata} is also similar but tends to be more yellow than orange and the black stripes are sharply pointed. Links=Brisbane Insects