Neotropical Entomology

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 225–238 | Cite as

Touching the Sky: Coccinellids (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) at High Altitudes in South America

  • G GonzálezEmail author
  • A Bustamante
  • A A Grez
Ecology, Behavior and Bionomics


Records of extreme altitudes where several coccinellid species from South America inhabit the Andes of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru are provided. After an intensive review of several entomological collections and literature, records for 35 species with at least one location over 3500-m elevation were obtained, including the genera Cycloneda (ten species), Eriopis (15 species and one subspecies), Harmonia (one species), Hippodamia (two species), Mimoscymnus (two species), Psyllobora (one species), and Stenadalia (four species). In total, 184 location records are listed, of which 119 were from between 3000 and 4000 m, 57 between 4000 and 4900 m and eight above 4900 m, with the highest altitude record at 5250 m for Eriopis minima Hofmann. All records above 4000 m were obtained in the Puna biogeographic province within the Paramo Puneña biogeographic subregion. These records are the highest altitudes observed for the American continent and by far surpass others known for coccinellids worldwide. Several species of coccinellids living in sympatry at these high altitudes were verified, and in some cases, in situ development was inferred by the presence of immature stages. These findings are important to foresee the future effects of global warming that will affect especially the biological communities of extreme altitudes.


Andes Range biogeography endemism global warming high altitudes 



Thanks to Manuel Diéguez (CPMD) for the loan of material from his collection and his valuable suggestions on the manuscript. To Mario Elgueta (MNHN), Luis Figueroa (MUSM), Francisco Ramírez (CPFR), Karina Vilca (USAM), Natalia Vandenberg (USNM), Héctor Vargas and Dante Bobadilla (UTAR), and Clorinda Vergara (MKRB) for the loan of material from their collections or from the collections they represent. Special thanks to Hugo Benítez, who donated materials collected at high altitudes in the Parinacota province, Chile. To Walter Cosio and Anahí Oróz for personal communications about the collecting places. To Richard Honour of Santiago, Chile, for the critical review of the manuscript. Thanks to Mariano Lattari for the donation of the photo in Fig 4f of Nevado de Cachi, to Margarita Ruiz de Gamboa and Marcos Ferrú for donating the photo for Fig 4g of Visviri, and to Sergio Rothmann for providing the photo for Fig 4h of Casiri Lagoon. Special thanks to Claudio Canepari (Italy) for sending his Nepal Coccinellidae studies and to Mario Elgueta (MNHN) for providing the bibliography. The support given to co-author Audrey Grez by the Government of Chile through FONDECYT 1180533 is gratefully acknowledged.

Author Contributions

González and Bustamante reviewed the collections and bibliography and prepared the list of localities and species. González elaborated the images. González and Grez analyzed the information and wrote the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Sociedade Entomológica do Brasil 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sociedad Chilena de EntomologíaSantiagoChile
  2. 2.Colección Entomológica, Facultad de CienciasUniv. Nacional San Antonio Abad del CuscoCuscoPeru
  3. 3.Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias y PecuariasUniv. de ChileSantiagoChile

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