The ant-associations and diet of the ladybird Coccinella magnifica (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)

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Abstract

The ladybird Coccinella magnifica is typically considered to be myrmecophilous, and primarily associated with the Formica rufa group of wood ants. It is regularly associated with ants of the F. rufa group in north-western Europe. The very limited data on the habitat preference of C. magnifica in the southern and eastern parts of its range indicate that its ant-associations change and that it may even be non-myrmecophilous in this region. C. magnifica might consist of geographically restricted species or semispecies, on the basis of its geographical variation in ant-association. Laboratory and field observations on north-western myrmecophilous populations C. magnifica appear to indicate it is a generalist predator of aphids. Coccinella magnifica's potential dietary breadth is similar to that of its congener Coccinella septempunctata, which has been used as a model of C. magnifica's non-myrmecophilous ancestor in evolutionary studies.

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Sloggett, J. J., Völkl, W., Schulze, W., Schulenburg, J. H. G. V. D., & Majerus, E. N. (2002). The ant-associations and diet of the ladybird Coccinella magnifica (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). European Journal of Entomology, 99(4), 565–569. https://doi.org/10.14411/eje.2002.075

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