November 7, 2010 8:28 pm
I wanted to share with you an extremely poor picture I took…however the content makes it a keeper. I’m sure you get plenty, but this is my first. I believe this to be a parasite infested Lady Beetle. It was pretty much dead, though still moving a bit (probably from the parasites?). Anyway, I’d love to get your confirmation on my suspicions regarding the parasites and also if you have any guess as to what may have infected the beetle. Thanks
Also, I didn’t even notice the parasites until I started editing….as these were shot at around 3:1 magnification, the parasites were too small to see with the human eye (or at least my eyes). If I had known, I would have shot some better pictures…but I just thought it was a dead beetle.
Signature: Nathanael Siders
We thought this looked like a Fungus that had gotten the best of this Lady Beetle, and when we searched BugGuide we found a section on Ladybugs with Laboulbeniales fungi. BugGuide has a photo that illustrates an especially virulent example with this information: “This is a fantastic photo. The fungus is a member of Laboulbeniales, under the genus Hesperomyces. Almost 100% positive it is Hesperomyces virescens as I do not know of other species that grow on Harmonia. Hesperomyces occurs on all sorts of coccinellids (and a Scymnus from New Zealand), including Harmonia, Hippodamia, etc. As for the rest of the pictures linked here that are on Harmonia, the infections are almost certainly all H. virescens. Would be happy to help in IDs of Laboulbeniales in the future.
That is very interesting. I have never seen anything like this before and thought this might be something similar to the work of a parasitic wasp of some kind. Thank you for the correction on the true nature of this situation and now I have some new interesting things to read up on with the fungus taking over insects.