Scientific Name: Halmus chalybeus
Size: Total Length 3-4 mm
What does it look like?
Adult head, prothorax and elytra shiny dark metallic bluish to greenish, with front of the head and front corners of prothorax yellowish brown in males. Head small with compound eyes and short antennae. Steelblue Ladybird larvae are elongated, pale grey with long dark fleshy extensions and long hair-like seta at the tip.
Where is it found?
Widely distributed throughout eastern Australia, from northern Qld to Vic. Introduced into NZ and the Americas.
What are its habitats & habits?
The Steelblue Ladybird is found in woodlands and shrublands, including parks and gardens. Adults feed on a variety of small insects, including scale insects, psyllids and whitefly, and also feed on honeydew, nectar and some plant exudates. Females lay yellow eggs, some with dark material on top. When fourth larval instar fully grown, it attaches itself to protected place on plant to pupate.
This species features in my book A Naturalist’s Guide to the Insects of Australia