Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Laetilia coccidivora (Comstock, 1879)
Comstock, 1879; Report of the Commissioner of Agriculture 1879: 241
Comstock, 1879; Report of the Commissioner of Agriculture 1879: 243
Ragonot, 1887 (at one time synonymized with coccidivora
and later re-elevated to species level)
Cockerell, 1897; in Dyar (1904) Proc. Ent. Soc. Wash. 6 (4): 228
Dyar, 1904; Proc. Ent. Soc. Wash. 6 (2): 116
Dyar, 1918; Insecutor Inscitiae Menstruus 6 (7-9): 139
* phylogenetic sequence #177000
wingspan 10-18mm (Comstock, 1879)
mature larvae to 12 mm (Comstock, 1879)
larvae are predatory, feeding on the eggs and young of cochineal scale insects (Dactylopius
), sometimes supplemented with cactus flowers (Mann, 1969).
Uses carminic acid acquired from its food as a defense against predators (Eisner et. al., 1994)
- a closely related western species.
Comstock, J.H. 1879. On a new predaceous lepidopterous insect. North American Entomologist. 1 (4): 26–28
, pl. 4
Eisner, T., R. Ziegler, J. L. McCormick, M. Eisner, E. R. Hoebeke and J. Meinwald. 1994. Defensive use of an acquired substance (carminic acid) by predaceous insect larvae. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 50 (6): 610-615
Mann, John (1969) Cactus-Feeding Insects and Mites; USNM Bull. 256, p.30
. Picture of a caterpillar feeding on scale insects.
- images of pinned DNA supported specimens (2)