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First Record of the Tribe Bulaeini (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) With Generic and Species Descriptions From Pakistan.

Byline: Muhammad Ali Arif-un-Nisa Naqvi Rokhsana Perveen Khalil Ahmad and Ishtiaq Hussain


Bulaea lichatschovi (Hummel 1827) belonging to the genus Bulaea under the tribe Bulaeini is recorded from Sindh Province Pakistan for the first time. Detailed descriptions illustrations and distributions are provided. Food preferences of this species are also discussed.

Keywords: Coleoptera Coccinellidae Bulaeini Bulaea first record Pakistan.

The family Coccinellidae commonly called ladybirds or ladybugs belong to the superfamily Cucujoidea order Coleoptera suborder Polyphaga (Kovar 1996; Hunt et al. 2007). Most species are brightly coloured and patterned. This family comprises about 360 genera and more than 6000 species up to the present (Vandenberg 2002).

Numerous species of Coccinellids are major biological control agents of pests such as aphids whiteflies mealybugs scale insects thrips and mites in all parts of the world (Moreton 1969; Hawkeswood 1987; Majerus 1994; Khan 2001).

Among the Coccinellids the members of the genus Coccinela have more potential to control different types of insect pests specially aphids. In Pakistan the seven spotted and eleven spotted ladybirds of the genus Coccinella have been studied in different aspects (Sattar et al. 2008; Sarwar and Saqib 2010; Ahmad et al. 2011).

Bulaea belongs within the tribe Coccinellini by earlier taxonomists such as Crotch (1874) Casey (1899) Watson (1956) and Fursch (1967). Savoiskaya (1969) proposed two tribes Tytthaspidini and Bulaeini based on the morphology of larvae. The tribe Coccinellini was considered as polyphyletic (Savoiskaya and Klausnitzer 1973). The genus Bulaea also includes phytophagous species and represents an independent shift to phytophagy according to our study (Giorgi et al. 2009). B. lichatschovi is known to eat leaves (Savoiskaya 1970) as well as pollen (Capra 1947; Savoiskaya 1983) but unlike members of Epilachninae the adults will consume aphids under laboratory conditions. The ancestral state in the transition to phytophagy seen in Bulaea is ambiguous but was likely aphidophagy pollinivory or both. The mandible of adult shows little change from the standard aphidophagous type unlike the highly elaborated biting and grinding surfaces found in the Epilachnine mandible (Samways et al. 1997).

The species of this genus are found on sandy and desert places from Senegal through Egypt and Arabia to central Asia and Persia (Iran) (Crotch 1874). Ozbek and Cetin (1991) reported B. lichatschovi (Hummel) from sugar beet lentil alfalfa from different localities of Turkey. Kapur (1969) recorded this species from Rajasthan from India. In Pakistan this species was first time recorded from Sindh Province feeding on aphids as well as on pollens especially from deserts but rarely from agricultural fields.

Materials and methods

Coccinellids were collected from different localities of the Sindh Province. The specimens were mounted after boiled in 10% solution of KOH for 10-15 min. Various body parts were separated and mounted in Canada balsam after a brief dip in xylol. Different structures including genitalia were studied under a Kruss Binocular. Measurements and drawings of the body and other structures were made by using a micromillimeter scale and an ocular grid. The terminologies for various taxonomic structures including genitalia and procedures used by Innayatullah and Siddique (1978) and Gordon (1985) were generally followed. The taxonomic structures especially male and female genitalia after illustration were preserved in microvial with glycerine and pinned with specimen. All diagrams are to the given scales and all measurements are in millimeters.

Tribe Bulaeini

Bulaeini Savoyskaya 1969: 102 Diagnosis

Body medium to large; elongated-oval strongly convex; head vertical; clypeus with broad anterolateral emarginations; gena never extending on to eye; mandible large with bifid apex; maxillary palp long terminal segment with dorsal margin strongly produced weakly securiform; pronotum convex anteriorly never excavated anterolaterally. Sipho narrow siphonal capsule weakly hook shaped with small short adjacent arm while large thick opposite arm; paramere narrow longer than median lobe; trabes bifurcated apically; genital plate weakly s-shaped; lateral plate large oval; spermatheca with distinctly short cornu ramus large tetragonal nodulus absent.

Genus BULAEA Mulsant

Bulaea Mulsant 1850: 36 69. Type species: Coccinella lichatschovi Hummel 1827

Diagnostic description Length 3.86.0 mm; width 3.04.6mm; elongate-oval strongly convex. Body with pronotum and elytra brownish yellow while ventrally light yellow with black pigments. Antennae with first segment tetragonal narrow medially; second small oval; third to seventh small elongated eight to ten expanded distally eleventh larger rounded with apical margin straight; mandible large strong.

Prosternum with anterior margin deeply concave with long entire hairs; prosternal carinae present; epipleuron deeply descending; tibia with spurs; tarsal claws appendiculate. Abdomenal postcoxal lines incomplete with oblique dividing line.

Male genitalia

Sipho thick basally narrower distally; siphonal capsule very weakly hook shaped with opposite arm distinctly large broader cylindrical while adjacent arm very small narrow; median lobe narrow apically slightly longer than parameres; trabes apically bifurcated.

Female genitalia

Genital plate elongated poorly S-shaped; lateral plate distinctly large rounded-oval; spermatheca deeply L-shaped with cornu distinctly short than ramus nodulus absent; infundibulum present; sperm duct very short.

Coccinella lichatschovi 1827.

Bulaea lichatschovi: Iablokoff-Khnzorian 1982; Bielawski 1975; 1984. Coccinella pallid Motschulsky 1949. Coccinella bocanderi Mulsant 1850. Coccinella quinquedecimpunctata Chobant 1980.


Adult length 45.7mm; width 3.44mm; body elongate-oval strongly convex. Head posteriorly black surrounding eye bifurcating medially vertex frons clypeus mouth parts legs and venter light yellow with black pigments; pronotum yellow with seven black spots five arranged near to posterolateral margins while other two elongated spots arranged medially diverging from each other; elytra yellowish with nineteen black spots including one common spot at anterior junction. Eyes small coarsely faceted; ligula anteriorly deeply notched; submentum laterally thick anteriorly narrow with straight margin. Prosternal process with carinae broader anteriorly not reaching the anterior margin; epipleural inner margin narrow anteriorly as well as posteriorly before expanding slightly emarginated medially. Postcoxal line arcuate; terminal segment deeply notched with entire small hairs.

Male genitalia

Sipho thick anteriorly while narrower distally with slightly s-shaped terminal end; siphonal capsule with opposite thick large tetragonal while adjacent arm very minute pointed; median lobe narrow deeply sharped apically slightly longer than parameres; parameres strongly narrow medially converged; trabes broadly bifurcated apically.

Female genitalia

Genital plates elongated straight slendrical; lateral plates distinctly large elongated-oval; spermatheca with cornu distinctly short ramus longer than cornu nodulus absent.

Type depository BMNH

Material examined 3males and 2 females Pakistan; Sindh: Mirpur Khas Larkana Sukkhar Hyderabad Karachi 14.6.1972 19.6.1973 on wheat mustard. leg. Khan M.I. lodged at Natural History Museum Department of Zoology University of Karachi.


Throughout the world only two species of the genus Bulaea have been recorded but from Pakistan this species is recorded for the first time.


Afghanistan Bulgaria China Central and West Asia Greece India Mediterranean Region Mongolia North and Central Africa Poland Pakistan: Mirpur Khas Larkana Sukkhar Hyderabad Karachi.


In Pakistan very little taxonomic work has been done on the family Coccinellidae. The genus Bulaea had been included in the tribe Coccinellini by the ancient taxonomists such as Crotch (1874) Casey (1899) Watson (1956) and FA1/4rsch (1967). Savoiskaya (1969) created a new tribe Bulaeini in the subfamily Coccinellinae based on the morphology of larvae.

Members of the genus Bulaea are mostly pollinivorous but sometimes aphidophagous. The genus Bulaea includes phytophagous species which represent an independent shift to phytophagy according to the study of Giorgi et al. (2009). B. lichatschovi is known to feeding on leaves pollen and aphids. The mandible of adult Bulaea shows little change from the standard aphidophagous type unlike the highly elaborated biting and grinding surfaces found in the Epilachnine mandible (Samways et al. 1997).

Similarly in the present study the members of the tribe Bulaeini were recorded mostly from desert areas of different localities of the Sindh Province feeding on different species of aphids but sometimes were found to be pollinovorous. The members of the tribe Bulaeini were also differentiated from the other tribes of the subfamily Coccinellinae by having clypeus with broad anterolateral emerginations; gena never extending on to eye; mandible large with bifid apex; maxillary palpus with terminal segment with dosrsal margin strongly produced anteriorly weakly securiform; pronotum convex anteriorly never excavated anterolaterally.

The distinguished generic character includes the shape of antennal segments. On species level colouration of the body and the distinguished parts of male and female genitalia were focused distinctly. Among these characters the bifid condition of mandibles indicated that these Coccinellids are aphidophagous. For the first time from Pakistan only one species Bulaea lichatschovi was recorded by the author from different localities of the Sindh Province.


The author expresses his sincere thanks to Dr Claudio Canepari (San Donato Milanese Italy) for his helps in identification and confirmation of these species kindheartedly. I express my gratitude to my worthy supervisor Dr. Rokhsana Perveen Department of Zoology University of Karachi for her guidance and cooperation to complete this research work.


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Article Details
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Author:Hussain, Ishtiaq; Ahmad, Perveen Khalil; Rokhsana, Naqvi; Arif-un-Nisa, Muhammad Ali
Publication:Pakistan Journal of Zoology
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Oct 31, 2014
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