Mealybug destroyer (Cryptolaemus montrouzieri)
A ladybug larva that resembles a nudibranch and is a voracious scale bug eater. Exhibiting aggressive mimicry to resemble it's prey. Exploring the outer branches of an endemic Allocasuarina. One of about a dozen in a local nature reserve. (Gilmour Park)
About 12mm long
The adult is fairly plain, black and brown and without markings but maintains the impressive dietary habits of the larvae and has been introduced into California, New Zealand, Western Australia for biocontrol..
''Cryptolaemus montrouzieri'', common name Mealybug Ladybird or Mealybug Destroyer is ladybird species endemic to Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. Unlike many of the often brightly coloured Coccinellidae, it is predominantly brown and has no spots. It has been used as a biological control agent against Mealybugs and other Scale insects. As a larva it apparently looks like the mealybugs they prey on, a case of aggressive mimicry.