By Stanisław Adam Ślipiński; Australia. Department of the Environment and Water Resources.; Australian Biological Resources Study
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Additional info for Australian ladybird beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) : their biology and classification
Then the larva moves around, often feeding on unhatched eggs (both fertile and infertile). There are four stages (instars) in larval life, separated from each other by a moulting period in which the larva casts off its old exoskeleton and builds up a new one, considerably increasing its size. Prior to moulting, the larva stops feeding and moving and usually attaches itself to the substrate using the anal pad (cremaster on the terminal abdominal segment); it remains motionless for several hours (Khan et al.
Hodek (1996a) provided an extensive list of essential food of known species of Coccinellidae. This list is heavily biased towards Coccinellini and to species from the Northern Hemisphere. From this list and from extensive literature cited by Hodek, it is obvious that some species clearly approach monophagy, feeding on one or only a few closely related prey taxa (termed stenophagous species), while other are euryphagous (or polyphagous), their essential prey being various species of few taxonomic groups.
It has been regarded as a defence system against insect or vertebrate predators. The smell is due, at least in part, to a pyrazine (Al Abassi et al. 1998). Ladybirds exhibiting such behaviour are usually large and brightly coloured in warning — aposematic — colours (mostly a combination of red, orange, yellow or blue with black or red pattern). The chemical defence system of ladybirds is based on a repellent, only rarely on toxic alkaloids, some of which are known to be produced autogenously (Tursch et al.