Irvine Park, Orange, Orange County, California, USA February 24, 2006
(Written in October 2006, about 7 months after initial post)
The larvae of this coccinellid beetle, which turns out to be Hyperaspis trifurcata, feed on cochineal insects and appropriate the prey's defensive chemical, carminic acid, for their own protective purposes.
There are additional posts on this beetle.
While not yet seen by the author, a chamaemylid fly (Leucopis sp.) also has larvae which feed on the cochineal. Update December 2010: I've began to post the flies, which I found at Fullerton Arboretum.
Contributed by Ron Hemberger on 25 April, 2006 - 7:26pm Last updated 11 December, 2010 - 3:45pm
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