Cybocephalidae

Cybocephalus nipponicus Endrödy-Younga
"armored scale predator" or "scale picnic beetle"

Cybocephalus nipponicus Endrody-Younga

Cybocephalus nipponicus Endrody-Younga, male

Cybocephalus nipponicus Endrody-Younga

Cybocephalus nipponicus Endrödy-Younga, female

 

Introduction
Cybocephalus nipponicus, the armored scale predator or scale picnic beetle, native to Asia, is an introduced beetle in the U.S. This species was purposely introduced and released in Florida in 1998 to control scale the cycad aulacaspis scale (Aulacaspic yasumatsui Takagi) (Smith and Cave 2006). It also feeds on the euonymus scale (Unaspis euonymi), the San Jose Scale (Quadraspidiotus perniciosus), and other scales. This is the only sexually dimorphic species known to occur in the U.S. This species was formerly placed in Nitidulidae, but was placed in the family Cybocephalidae by Smith and Cave (2006).

Identification
Ovate and extremely convex with contractile body; minute,1.0-1.35 mm long, 0.9-1.30 mm wide; female black with yellow antennae and fore legs, male black with yellowish-orange to tan pronotum and head; 11-segmented antennna with 3-segmented club, club smaller than eye, scutellum large, triangular; elytra usually covering tip of abdomen; and tarsi four-segmented (Smith and Cave 2006).

Biology and Economic Importance?
This species has been used in the U.S. as a biological control agent to combat the cycad aulacaspis scale (Aulacaspic yasumatsui) (Smith and Cave 2006), euonymus scale (Unaspis euonymi), the San Jose Scale (Quadraspidiotus perniciosus), and other scales.

Distribution
Introduced range in U.S.: Massachusetts south to Florida and west to Texas.

Literature Cited
Smith, T. R. and R. D. Cave. 2006. The Cybocephalidae (Coleoptera) of America North of Mexico. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 99: 776-792.

Links
Green Methods: Biological Pest Control and Integrated Pest Management. Armored Scale Predator: Cybocephalus nipponicus. Online at: http://greenmethods.com/biocontrols/cybocephalus/#descr Accessed on 5 August 2010.