Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Species Rhyzobius lophanthae

Small ? coccinellid - Rhyzobius lophanthae Rhyzobius lophanthae (Blaisdell) - Rhyzobius lophanthae Rhyzobius lophanthae Unknown Beetle - Rhyzobius lophanthae Lady Beetle - Rhyzobius lophanthae Lady Beetle - Rhyzobius lophanthae Lady Beetle - Rhyzobius lophanthae Rhyzobius lophanthae (Blaisdell) - Rhyzobius lophanthae
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga (Water, Rove, Scarab, Long-horned, Leaf and Snout Beetles)
No Taxon (Series Cucujiformia)
Superfamily Coccinelloidea
No Taxon (Coccinellid group)
Family Coccinellidae (Lady Beetles)
Subfamily Coccidulinae
Tribe Coccidulini
Genus Rhyzobius
Species lophanthae (Rhyzobius lophanthae)
Other Common Names
Purple Scale Predator
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
lophanthae - Latin for "of lophantha": Blaisdell first found them feeding on scale insects that infested the plant he knew as Acacia lophantha (Paraserianthes lophantha).
Numbers
one of 2 spp. in the genus (1)
Size
Length 1.7 to 2.85 mm,
Width 1.35 to 2.0 mm (2)
Identification

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).
Range
se US to CA - Map (2), + NY (BG data)
(Second sp. restricted to coastal so. CA)
Food
It preys on various species of Coccidae, but especially on diaspines. (2)
Life Cycle
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)
Remarks
Introduced into California from Australia in 1892 for control of the black scale - Saissetia oleae (2)
Type locality: Coronado, California (!)
See Also
Rhyzobius forestieri is solid dark brown or black.
- Range: coastal CA
Print References
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.
Works Cited
1.American Beetles, Volume II: Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea
Arnett, R.H., Jr., M. C. Thomas, P. E. Skelley and J. H. Frank. (eds.). 2002. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL.
2.The Coccinellidae (Coleoptera) of America North of Mexico
Robert D. Gordon. 1985. Journal of the New York Entomological Society, Vol. 93, No. 1.
3.Fortuitous establishment of Rhyzobius lophanthae (Coccinellidae) in S TX on the Cycad Aulacaspis Scale, Aulacaspis yasumatsui
Flores, D., and J. Carlson. 2009. Southwestern Entomologist 34(4): 489-492.