Beneficial bug collection – Steel Blue Ladybird
Common Name: Steel blue ladybird
Scientific Name: Halmus chalybeus
Horticultural situation where found: On a Citrus leaf with evidence of chewing and sucking damage from scale and/or aphids. The steel blue ladybird is native to Eastern Australia. It's a bold looking insect with it's flashy chrome blue shell.
Method of feeding (including type of prey): Biting and chewing mouthparts that are well developed. Aphids, scale and other insects are on this guy’s menu.
Life cycles: Complete metamorphosis. Eggs, larva, pupa and adult.
Feeding stages: Both adult and larva have well developed biting and chewing mouth parts and feed on small insects such as aphids and scale.
Distinguishing features for identification: Small in size 3mm and virtually a perfect circle in shape if viewed from the top. The wing covers are shiny and uniformly dark metallic blue in colour.
Commercial availability: Was introduced to NZ in the early 1900’s to control scale, but I am unable to find evidence of current commercial availability.
Identification References (including page no): Plant protection 1, p 98 – 101; Brisbane insect’s website.
The above information and image was kindly donated by Werner (horticulturalist)