Morphology: Adults usually about 3 mm in length, body almost rounded, usually black, elytra with several red or yellow spots. Larvae yellow-red, body often covered by whitish wax, which may be longer at the sides of each segment.
Life history: The larvae and adults of these insects feed on mealy bugs and Dactylopiidae. A life cycle usually takes about 3 months, and each female lays several hundred eggs.
Economic importance: Several species are major natural enemies of mealybugs and Dactylopiidae, and were introduced into various regions for this purpose.
THE MAJOR SPECIES IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Hyperaspis polita Weise
Adult length about 3 mm, dorsal surface glabrous. Elytra black with 5-6 yellowish spots: two in the middle, one basal and another apical, and two (which may be conjoined) external. Pronotum black except yellowish anterior margin. It occurs in the coastal areas of the Eastern Mediterranean region, Turkey to Pakistan, and in South Western Asia, including Iran. A life cycle at 30°C took about 3 months and it overwinters as an adult, raising 5 annual generations. . Fecundity (when fed on Phenacoccus solenopsis ) came to several hundred eggs/female.
Hyperaspis trifurcate Schaeffer
(Common name: trident lady beetle)
Adult length about 3 mm, dorsum glabrous, mostly black but each elytron with an almost closed yellow rectangular stripe. Thorax with a yellow patch on each side. A highly specific predator which was introduced into Israel from Mexico to control Dactylopius opuntiae.
Several additional species of Hyperaspis that feed on coccids are known from the Middle East, but their economic importance has not been evaluated.
Alizadeh, M.S. Mossadegh, M.S. and Esfandiari, M. 2013. Natural enemies of Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green) (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) and their population fluctuations in Ahvaz, southwest of Iran. Journal of Crop Protection 2: 13-21.
Kaydan, M.B., Atlihan, R., Uygun, N. and Şenal, D. 2012 Coccinellid (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) species feeding on coccoids (Hemiptera: Coccoidea) in Van Lake Basin, Turkey. Türkiye Biyolojik Mücadele Derneği 3: 37-46.
Kaydan, M.B., Kilincer, N., Uygun, N. , Japoshvilli, G. and Gaimari, S. 2006. Parasitoids and Predators of Pseudococcidae (Hemiptera: Coccoidea) in Ankara, Turkey. Phytoparasitica 34: 331-337.
Madih, S.N., Ramezani, L., Zarghami, S. and Sohani, N.Z. 2017. Biology and life table parameters of Hyperaspis polita feeding on Phenacoccus solenopsis and Planococcus citri under laboratory conditions. Applied Entomology and Phytopathplogy 85: 45-56.
Seyfollahi, F., Esfandiari, M., Mossadegh, M.S. and Rasekh, A. 2016. Life table parameters of the coccinellid Hyperaspis polita, a native predator in Iran, feeding on the invasive mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis. Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology 19: 835-840.
Protasov, A., Mendel, Z., Spodek, M. and Carvalho, C.J. 2017. Management of the Opuntia cochineal scale insect, Dactylopius opuntiae (Cockerell) in Israel. Alon HaNotea 71: 48-51 (in Hebrew with an English abstract).
Vanegas-Rico, J.M., Rodríguez-Leyva, E., Lomeli-Flores, J.R., González-Hernández, H., Pérez-Panduro, A. and Mora-Aguilera, G. 2016. Biology and life history of Hyperaspis trifurcata feeding on Dactylopius opuntiae. BioControl 61: 691-701.