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Photo#236921
Fifteen-spotted Lady Beetle - Anatis labiculata

Fifteen-spotted Lady Beetle - Anatis labiculata
Ft. Tilden, Queens County, New York, USA
May 27, 2008
New for New York.
Common on ocean beach.

What distinguishes this
from a dark-elytra A. mal*i?

(Asterisk to foil searches on that term from showing this image in results)

 
What causes any individual fr
What causes any individual from having a dark-elytra pattern? Individual characteristics or age? These were all Spring disbursing individuals found stranded on an ocean beach. Over 3 visits across a 2 week time period I found approximately 117 individuals. 116 of them looked like this photo and 1 was obviously the other species. Of the 116 that looked the same, some pattern of spotting is visible on some of the individuals, and they do not look ringed. This pattern would not show in a photo, but I do still have a couple of specimens.
I also checked the images in the Guide, and all that I saw was visibly distinguishable mal*i and a whole bunch of other images of dark-elytra labs. I couldn't tell anything about the pronotum markings from looking in Gordon.

 
A. labiculata is more explanate, like this one
It has a more flared "rim" than A. mali, much more helmet-shaped in a lateral view. Anatomical details are often a better way to determine species than markings alone, especially when the markings disappear with age!

 
Thanks for pointing out this
Thanks for pointing out this structural detail - which is actually visible on the left side of this photo.

 
Thanks, Rich.
I'll have to re-think my finds of "dark-elytra ma*li."

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