Coccinellidae (plant pests)

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Henosepilachna vigintioctopunctata larva (click on image to enlarge it)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Coccinellidae (plant pests)

The beetle family of Coccinellidae contains more than 5,000 species and is mainly known for its beneficial species which prey on pest insects like aphids, scales and mealybugs. However, several species are important plant pests like the Mexican bean beetle which attacks legumes in North America or the potato ladybird beetle, Henosepilachna vigintioctopunctata, which is a pest of solanaceous crops in Asia.

The Coccinellidae are medium size beetles with a hemispherical shape and often prominent markings and colours. The head is partly concealed by the pronotum. Many species contain toxic alkaloids as defence against predators and the bright colours are warning signals for potential predators.

For beneficial species see Coccinellidae (predators).

The following genera and individual species are currently entered under Nitidulidae: