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Helmet Bug - Axion tripustulatum

Helmet Bug - Axion tripustulatum
Hedgesville, Spruce Pine Hollow Roadside Park, Morgan County, West Virginia, USA
July 16, 2006
This little bug reminded me of a walking army helmet. Those red marks are not a reflection but are part of the insect.

Images of this individual: tag all
Helmet Bug - Axion tripustulatum Helmet Bug - Axion tripustulatum

Moved from Ladybird Beetles.

Moved from Beetles.

Axion tripustulata
Flipping through Gordon (1), Axion tripustulata appears to be an exact match for the dorsal markings of your ladybug. Nearctica confirms there are only 2 Axion spc. for North America and the other, A. plagiatum, looks different and occurs from Texas to Oregon in the southwest.

(note: the map in Gordon has a typo which switches the ranges of A. tripustulata and A. plagiatum. An internet search confirms the text location description, not the map, is correct)

A new species and genus for BudGuide! And appearently an internet image-first also :) Perhaps Eric can make the required Guide pages for you.

Bit confused
If this species is found from Texas to Oregon, this specimen was taken in West Viriginia. I can also dig up the gps coordinates if interested.

Thanks for finally confirming

range for Axion tripustulata is ok
sorry for the confusion, let me try again.

Gordon states in the text the following for location:
Axion tripustulata = Eastern US - Florida to New England, west to Colorado (including West Virgina)
Axion plagiatum = Texas to Oregon

Gordon's range maps incorrectly have these reversed.

so your West Virgina find of Axion tripustulata is ok.

hope this helps

Chrysomelid or Coccinellid?
Unfortunately, I don't know what this is, but I am very happy that you posted pictures of this beetle. I found one when I was in Florida a month ago, and my specimen is in pretty sorry condition. I'm sort of on the fence between chrysomelid (some sort of tortoise beetle) and a coccinellid.

To be honest I too think this is a type of ladybird beetle but I don't think it is a "twice stabbed" species. After all those red marks are more square than round and I find it amazing that the spots are equidistant all the way around. If you notice in this picture you can see my reflection with the camera on the shell.

Lady beetle.
This is indeed a lady beetle, but not Chilocorus, just as you suspected. I need to find a copy of the paper that appeared back in 1985(?) in the Journal of the New York Entomological Society. That would help me put *some* of these unknowns into genera at least:-)

Gordon's "book"
If you're referring to Gordon's "complete" ladybug "book", here's the reference (1). I was lucky enough to have subscribed to the New York Ent Soc for only a couple of years, but included when
Gordon's book was published. Perhaps you can obtain a "back issue" from them?

Can't find a match
Hi Eric,

Yeah, I have been online for several days now and I cannot seem to find one that matches with this one. Especially taking into consideration the three nearly equidistant red marks.

If you can find a match, that would be excellent.


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