Byline: Kausar Saeed, Muhammad Nasir Khan Khattak, Fayaz Khan, Falak Naz and Naveed Akhtar
Ladybird beetle is important group of beetles because they are important universal predatory and occupies important place in biological control. However, the ladybird beetle fauna of Pakistan is not extensively explored area wise. In this connection, the present study was conducted to explore the Ladybird beetle fauna of district Buner, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The study area was divided into twelve different localities namely village (Pirbaba, Kingergali, Daggar, Gokand, Barkalay, Budal, Shaheede sar, Nawagai, Nagrai, Chinglai, Totalai and Malka). Collection surveys were conducted in these areas at fifteen days interval in the active season during 2013-14.
The identification of the collected specimens during the study revealed that there are thirteen species of Ladybird beetle under eleven genera and three subfamilies (Subfamily Chilocorinae, Subfamily Coccinellini and Subfamily Epilachnini) were collected. These species are Brumoidus suturalis, Coccinella septempunctata, Coccinella transversalis, Menochilus sexmaculatus, Propylea dissecta, Coelophora bissellata, Oenopia sauzeti, Aiolocaria hexaspilota, Psyllobora bisoctonotata, Harmonia dimidiata, Henosepilachna vigintioctopunctata, Henosepilachna septima and Afidentula manderstjernae. The numerical data of these species reveals that C. septempunctata, H. dimidiata, C. sexmaculatus and H. vigintioctopunctata are highly abundant and were collected from all localities, while the rest of the species are moderately abundant except A. hexaspilota which is only collected from single locality pirbaba.
Key words: Ladybird beetles, Coccinellidae
Ladybird beetles which also called Ladybugs belong to the family Coccinellidae of order Coleoptera. They are more or less distributed worldwide and can be found from seacoast to alpine pastures, however many tribes are restricted to particular biogeographically regions (Majerous and Kern, 1989). About 6000 species under 490 genera of Coccinellidae are known worldwide (Slipinski, 2007). Family Coccinellidae is further classified into six subfamilies namely; Chilocorinae, Coccinellinae, Coccidulinae, Scymninae, Sticholotidinae and Epilachininae.
Ladybird beetles are mostly considered beneficial because of their predatory activity and help in regulating pest population of soft bodied insects like aphids, jassids, etc (Khuznetsov, 1997). However, members of its subfamily Epilachninae are phytophagous and are pests of important agricultural crops belonging to the family Fabaceae and compositae (Dieke, 1947; Li and Cook, 1961). A ladybird may eat aphids equal to its body weight every day. One larva can consumes up to 50 aphids a day. Hippodamia variegate (Goeze) is a general predator specially feeding on soft- bodied nymphs of aphids, mealy bugs and also scale insects, whiteflies and mites. An adult can consume 3,23,29 eggs, larvae and adults of red spiders mites , respectively (Anwarullah et al., 1966). A single adult consumes around 5,000 aphids in its lifespan whereas an adult female consumes about 300 aphids before laying eggs (Dixon, 2000).
According to Majerus and Kearns (1989) adults over winter in sheltered locations such as tree holes and other natural hiding places. Many monovolantine coccinellids species migrate in response to unfavorable environmental conditions. Species of Coccinellidae hibernate separately in small groups under fallen leaves in the forest clearings and in other habitat. The most suitable places for hibernation are well warmed...