Epilachna Chevrolat in Dejean, 1836: 460. TS: Coccinella borealis Fabricius, 1775.
Afissa Dieke, 1947: 113. TS: Coccinella flavicollis Thunberg, 1781.
Henosepilachna Li in Li and Cook, 1961: 35. TS: Coccinella sparsa Herbst, 1786.
In Australia Epilachna can only be confused with some large ladybirds of the tribe Coccinellini having elytra with similar pattern (e.g. Harmonia) but very apparent dorsal pubescence distinguishes Epilachna immediately from all other Coccinellidae of similar size and colour.
Length 5-10 mm; head exposed; body oval and distinctly convex; winged; dorsum uniformly hairy. Elytra yellow to black, usually with distinct colour pattern. Eyes broadly separated, not emarginate. Antenna 11(10)-segmented; slightly shorter than head capsule; antennal club 3-segmented, asymmetrical. Mandible multidentate apically; terminal maxillary palpomere strongly securiform. Pronotal disc evenly convex to narrowly upturned external borders. Prothoracic hypomeron without fovea near anterior angles; prosternum long in front of coxae, arcuate; prosternal process narrow without distinct carinae. Anterior margin of mesoventrite weakly emarginate medially. Elytral epipleuron complete, not foveate. Protibia not angulated externally. Tibial spurs formula 1-2-2. Abdominal postcoxal line recurved and almost complete. Male terminalia. Parameres and phallobase symmetrical; penis guide symmetrical. Parameres articulated with phallobase. Penis stout, consisting of single sclerite; basal capsule weak to absent. Apodeme of male sternum 9 very narrow and rod-like. Female terminalia. Coxities broad plates; styli strongly reduced and hardly visible; infundibulum absent; sperm duct simple, uniform in diameter. Spermatheca globular without clear cornu; spermathecal accessory gland distinctly separated from sperm duct.
Distribution and Biology
All species in this group are herbivorous and are feeding on various plants belonging to Cucurbitaceae, Solanaceae, Fabaceae, Convolvulaceae and Malvaceae. Some species are important pests in many parts of the world. Ten species have been recorded from Australia (Li 1993), all of them belong to widely distributed Asian and Papuan species with complex nomenclatorial histories. Two species classified by Li in "Epilachna" proper are probably wrongly recorded from Australia and require further investigation.
Bielawski, R. 1963. Monographie der Epilachninae (Coleoptera, Coccinellidae) der Australischen Region. Annales Zoologici (Warszawa), 21, (17): 295-461.
Dejean, P.F.M.A. 1836. Catalogue des Coléoptcres de la collection de M. le Comte Dejean [2 edtition, Fascicle 5]. 361-443 pp.
Dieke, G.H. 1947. Ladybeetles of the genus Epilachna (sens. lat.) in Asia, Europe and Australia. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, 106, (15): 1-183, 27 pls.
Li, C.S. 1993. Review of the Australian Epilachninae (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Journal of the Australian Entomological Society, 32, (3): 209-24.
Li, C.S, & E.F Cook. 1961. The Epilachninae of Taiwan (Col.: Coccinellidae). Pacific Insects, 3, (1): 31-91
Matthews E.G. 1992. A guide to the genera of beetles of South Australia. Part 6 Polyphaga: Lymexyloidea, Cleroidea and Cucujoidea. Special Educational Bulletin Series, 9. South Australian Museum, Adelaide. 75 pp.
Slipinski, A. 2007. Australian Ladybird Beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) their biology and classification. ABRS, Canberra. 286 pp.
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