Micraspis Chevrolat in Dejean, 1836: 435. TS: Coccinella striata Fabricius, 1792.
Alesia Mulsant, 1850: 343. TS: Coccinella striata Fabricius, 1792.
Verania Mulsant, 1850: 358. TS: Coccinella comma Thunberg, 1781.
Cisseis Mulsant, 1850: 129. TS: Coccinella furcifera Guérin-Méneville, 1835.
Micraspis is easily recognized among Australian Coccinellini because of exceptionally small scutellum, prothoracic hypomeron without foveae, tibial apices without spurs, abdominal postcoxal line incomplete with oblique dividing line, and the female genitalia with distinct infundibulum.
Length 3-6 mm. Elytra moderately convex; winged, glabrous. Elytral colour pattern, variable but usually dark longitudinal stripes on yellow background. Head with anterior clypeal border straight between lateral projections. Antenna 10- or 11-segmented; slightly shorter than head capsule with moderately compact 3-segmented club. Terminal maxillary palpomere securiform. Pronotal disc evenly convex transversely to narrowly upturned external borders. Prothoracic hypomeron without fovea near anterior angles; prosternal process with or without distinct carinae. Anterior margin of mesoventrite weakly emarginate medially to straight. Scutellum very small. Elytral margin with narrow raised margins; epipleuron not foveate. Tibial spurs absent. Abdominal postcoxal line not recurved and incomplete laterally without oblique additional line. Male terminalia. Parameres and phallobase symmetrical; penis guide symmetrical. Parameres articulated with phallobase. Penis with additional apical piece; basal capsule distinct and T-shaped. Apodeme of male sternum 9 very narrow and rod-like. Female terminalia. Coxities club-handle like; styli terminal, well developed, with apical setae; infundibulum tube-like, enclosing the sperm duct; sperm duct simple, uniform in diameter. Spermatheca distinctly curved with cornu and basal ramus and nodulus; spermathecal accessory gland adjacent to sperm duct.
Distribution and Biology
Africa, Oriental, Papuan, Pacific and Australian Regions. There are 6 species in Australia, It appears that most species of Micraspis are polyphagous aphid feeders occurring in native and agricultural landscapes; at least M. frenata is capable to develop on pollen and on artificial diet made of powdered, freeze-dried, honeybee brood.
Dejean, P F M A. 1836. Catalogue des Coléoptcres de la collection de M. le Comte Dejean [2 edtition, Fascicle 5]. 361-443 pp.
Iablokoff-Khnzorian, S.M. 1982. Les coccinelles. Coleoptères-Coccinellidae. Société nouvelle des editions Boubée, Paris. 568 pp.
Mulsant, M.E. (1850). Species des Coléoptères Trimères Sécuripalpes. Annales des Sciencies Physiques et Naturelles, d'Agriculture et d'Industrie, publiées par la Société nationale d'Agriculture, etc., de Lyon, Deuxième Série, 2: xv + 1-1104 pp (part 1 pp. 1-450; part 2 pp. 451-1104),
Slipinski, S.A. 2007. Australian Ladybird Beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) their biology and classification. ABRS, Canberra. 286 pp.
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