Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Rhyzobius lophanthae (Blaisdell)
Orig. Comb: Scymnus lophanthae Blaisdell, 1892
Blaisdell was unaware that the sp. he desc. from CA was newly-introduced from Australian!
The same year, Thomas Blackburn
described it in Australia under the name Rhizobius toowoombae
, but Blaisdell's description was published first- so the second name is a synonym.
Syns: lopanthae, lophantae (spelling)
Explanation of Names
- Latin for "of lophantha": Blaisdell first found them feeding on scale insects that infested the plant he knew as Acacia lophantha
one of 2 spp. in the genus (1)
Elytra dark, often slightly metallic bronze, with paler red-brown pronotum. Underside entirely red-brown.
Densely pubescent, with two lengths of setae (hairs). Often appears dusty, because differing hair lengths trap debris.
Can only be confused with Scymnus, which is ruled out by above points, in addition to the long antennae (amendments to this section per J. Bailey).
(Second sp. restricted to coastal so. CA)
It preys on various species of Coccidae, but especially on diaspines. (2)
Because of its prey specificity, high fecundity, adult longevity, absence of diapause, good mobility, rapid development (five to seven generations per year), and lack of parasitism, R. lophanthae
is considered an important natural enemy of many species of armored scale (3)
Introduced into California from Australia in 1892 for control of the black scale - Saissetia oleae (2)
Type locality: Coronado, California (!)
is solid dark brown or black.
Blackburn, T. 1892. Further notes on Australian Coleoptera, with descriptions of new genera and species. XII. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, 15(2): 207-261
Blaisdell, F.E. 1892. A new species of Coleoptera from California. Entomological News, 3: 51. (p.51
Flores, D., and J. Carlson. 2009. Fortuitous establishment of Rhyzobius lophanthae
(Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) and Aphytis lingnanesis
(Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) in South Texas on the Cycad Aulacaspis Scale, Aulacaspis yasumatsui
(Hemiptera: Diaspididae). Southwestern Entomologist 34(4): 489-492. (3)
Stathas, G.J. 2000. Rhyzobius lophanthae prey consumption and fecundity. Phytoparasitica 28: 203-211.