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beetle - Olla v-nigrum

beetle - Olla v-nigrum
st. pete, pinellas County, Florida, USA
May 24, 2008
Size: .25 inch
Has this guy been parasitized? Are those eggs on his back?


Genus Hyperaspis?
See page that mentions the white marking on the head

thinking correctly,
but probably this one - Ashy-Gray Ladybird Beetle - Olla v-nigrum, based on the shape of the spots and shape of white pronotum markings.

Why are there two very different
looking lady beetles on that page? Is that a gender difference? We would put some information on the info page to explain it if someone has something to add. Are there two totally different color morphs or ... ???

good suggestion,
There are at least 2 very different color morphs as you can tell from the images. I'm currently away from my copy of Gordon's ref(1). But if someone else doesn't get to it first, I'll try to add a comment or two from that reference when I get to it.

Check out the discussion on
this image

Fungus, yes
Looks like Laboulbeniales.

Definitely Hesperomyces, a me
Definitely Hesperomyces, a member of Laboulbeniales. Probably Hesperomyces virescens!

Thanks for the link. Very interesting. At one point they mention possible interferance with flight.... but this guy flew easily and strongly.
Thanks again.

Effect of Laboulbeniales on their hosts?
Hi Matt,

As Monica already said, the species probably is Hesperomyces virescens (Fungi, Ascomycota, Laboulbeniales).

In spite of their parasitic nature, most Laboulbeniales seem to have little or no effect on the reproduction and survival of their host. Hesperomyces virescens is one of the few taxa of the order penetrating the host’s integument with a haustorium. Haustoria make contact with the host’s haemocoel and draw nutrient material from it. But even then, I would say there is not much of negative effect on the survival of the host.

When heavily infested by Laboulbeniales, however, the host may become a suitable prey for predators since it will not be able anymore to fly or move properly. The parasite doesn't kill its host but causes physical disabilities.

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