Cheilomenes sexmaculata is a species of ladybird. It was described by Johan Christian Fabricius in 1781. It is well known as a predator of aphids and other small insects. Although sometimes known by the common name of six-spotted zigzag ladybird, this is misleading as there are several colour morphs and some colour morphs of the species can be confused with Micraspis discolor and Chilocorus nigrita. The species has a wide distribution range within the Asian tropics and subtropical zones from India to Japan and parts of the Australian region. They have been introduced into the Caribbean islands as a biocontrol agent and their spread to South America was noted in 2019. The elytral colour has been identified as being controlled by two genes with two alleles each U-u and D-d and the phenotypes have been grouped into varieties quadriplagiata (“Q”) [UUDD,UUDd,UuDD,UuDd]; unifasciata (“U”) [Uudd,UUdd]; diversijunata (“D”) [uuDD,uuDd] and sexmaculata (“S”) [uudd]. The darker forms predominate in higher latitudes where absorption of heat may aid their survival.
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- Kawakami, Yasuko; Yamazaki, Kazuo; Ohashi, Kazunori (2013). "Geographical variations of elytral color polymorphism in Cheilomenes sexmaculata(Fabricius) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)". Entomological Science. 16 (2): 235–242. doi:10.1111/ens.12005.
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