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A lady bug ?? - Microweisea misella

A lady bug ?? - Microweisea misella
Chantilly, Fairfax County, Virginia, USA
March 22, 2009
Size: ~ 1 mm
Found under the bark of a tree. It's too small for me to take a nice photo... Can I get a genus/species ID ?

Images of this individual: tag all
A lady bug ?? - Microweisea misella Microweisea misella Microweisea misella

Microweisia misella, I believe...
I have just this week seen a few Microweisia under the microscope and will be posting some shots of specimens form New Brunswick shortly, and this one sure seems to fit the GISS (General Impression of Shape and Size) for this species and other characters too. As others have said, the fact that it definitely appears to be glabrous is significant, strongly suggesting not Stethorus or Scymnus. The antennae and palpi seem right too, and the size of 1-1.5 mm also strongly suggests this species for this region, as well as its rather strongly convex, even spherical shape. Finally, as John Acorn suggests in Ladybugs of Alberta, this species apparently likes to hang out on bark a fair bit, so all the signs seem to point to this species... Any other comments? Anyway, those are my two cents worth...

Compare with...
I have finally posted the image of a Microweisia specimen from NB Canada...Please compare your image showing the antennae and palpi most clearly with the image of this specimen . They sure look pretty similar to me. Also, the hairiness of the Scymnini in general seems to preclude that group. What do you think, folks?

I think it looks similar to your one.
But, I don't know they are the same species or genus since I know little about them. Do you think my photos can be safely moved to the species page?

Yes, likely OK...
I am not an editor for this section and cannot make the final call, but I am 99% certain we are in the right subfamily (Sticholotidinae) and Downie and Arnett 1996 list only two species from the NE (that includes the Virginias I believe), the other of which is brown (Coccidophilus marginatus), so I would go ahead and move it to the species page, at least for the time being. In the meanwhile, I pledge to keep an eye open for any other possibilities and let you all know if there are any other possibilities that come up... Congratulations once again for the excellent photos of such a small subject and this may well lead to other postings on the same subject (I hope!)

-Denis Doucet

Thank you very much!
I'll move the photos to the corresponding species page. ^^

Thanks, guys!
It should be a lady bug, but it's better to wait for a moment for the genus/species ID.

the size suggests Stethorus, otherwise i don't see enough to tell

Thanks v !
But, it is very glabrous, but not hairy...

i was sure the shine is just the effect of lighting... still, a ladybug -- hopefully, Tim Moyer will notice & weigh in

I have found similar ones
definitely Coccinellidae, running up and down our Brittle Bush. Ours are pubescent. I did not yet get good photos but I'm working on it.

Maybe like this one?
Just a suggestion.

While the debate was raging on, you were apparently right early on. I know we need to be sure and have all the ID characters before us, but sometimes first impressions are still the best...

not sure if it's Microweisia (might be), but at least I think we're talking about the likely subfamily - STICHOLOTIDINAE (there are some all-black SCYMNINAE well under 2.0mm, but most of them seem to be hairy). It's difficult to see the antenna club clearly, but I believe the Microweisia should be a mult-segmented club (and your image seems to support that), while this lady from VA seems to have more of single elongated segment for the club, which should point toward other genera. The good news is that there don't appear to be many glaborus all-black sub 1.5mm choices for this eastern location. I can probably eventually get it by the process of elimination, but perhaps someone else can apply a more certain determination.

WonGun, if you can add any further certainty to the size, like "definitely under 1.5mm", or even "possibly as big as 2.0mm", that would probably be helpful.

Thanks, Tim!
My memory tells it was under 1.5 mm. I usually try to take photos under natural light when a critter is 2 mm or more, but I have no photo taken without flash light regardless of nice weatehr. However, I didn't take many photos recently and I might loose the sense.

So, it's better for me to abandon IDing these photos to the genus/species level and to have another chance taking better photos of other specimens. I found them twice on the bark of the same tree in front of my office and may find another one.

Thank you guys again for trying to ID these poor photos.

other photos
We may still get this one IDed - just need a little more time.

If you do enounter other individuals, a clear underside image is invaluable when attempting to key these. Also best possible antenna / palpi image (which you have here).