The parts of the ladybird beetle pupa
To identify the pupae, there are several characters on the ventral aspect (not pictured here) that distinguish one species from another. The pupal key provided by Phuoc and Stehr (1974) is an excellent key, however such characters are too difficult to use in field identification; especially when the objective is to leave the pupae undisturbed. Therefore, dorsal characters and the last larval exuvia are used for identification.
Pupae in the tribe Coccinellini are characterized by the exposed intersegmental conjunctivae between the abdominal terga 3 and 4, 4 and 5, 5 and 6, and 6 and 7, allowing for a flexible abdomen, and by having very fine setae (hairs) which give the body an apparent glabrous (hairless/smooth) aspect (Phuoc and Stehr 1974).
To identify pupae, we use a combination of characters from Phouc and Stehr, and ones that we developed that are easy to use in the field.
What does your ladybird beetle pupa look like?