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Ladybug Species Page: 1 2
The ladybug family is huge. The typical red or orange ladybug that many of us think of with black spots has lots of cousins; thousands of them! There are approximately 5000 species of ladybugs and more are being discovered. These ladybugs, ladybirds, or lady beetles as they may be called depending where you are from, can look drastically different than our red and black mascot. Ladybug spot patterns vary widely from species to species and come in a variety of colors.
Some ladybug species have spots and some have none at all and this can happen just within one species. There are some ladybug species that have beatiful metallic colored elytra ( the hard shell-like outer wing) while other ladybug species are covered with little hair-like structures.
There are six species of ladybugs we have been fortunate to see near our house alone. These include Hippodamia convergens, Coccinella Septempunctata, Coccinella Californica, Coccinella Triasficata Subversa, Psyllobora vigintimaculata and Harmonia Axyridis. I have observed various numbers of each of these ladybug species and within each group I have seen varying levels of color ranging from light oranges to deep reds.
The Convergent Lady Beetle ( Hippodamia Convergens )
The most common beneficial ladybug species in North America is the Convergent Lady Beetle. It gets it's name from a pair of white convergent dashes on the pronotum / prothorax. This ladybug has more of an elongated than spherical body. They may have 0 - 13 spots and are 4-7 mm in length. The convergent lady beetle is widely used as a biological pest control and can be found on a variety of crops, vegatables, weeds, greehouse crops, orchard crops and easily grown flowers.
In our yard for example we have Cosmos growing in large amounts every spring and through the summer and a significant number of convergent lady beetles come live and feed in them for months.
View more photos of the convergent ladybug ( hippodamia convergens )
The 7-Spotted Lady Beetle ( Coccinella Septempunctata )
This lady beetle is probably the most popular idea of what a ladybug is. It is the most common species of ladybug in Europe and through repeated introductions to the United States as a source of biological pest control, it is extremely common here as well. In addition, it is the official state insect of Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. This ladybug is easily recognized by its red color, 3 spots on each elytra and one spot spanning the both of them where the wings meet. I often see large numbers of these feeding in the weeds near our home.
Sometimes when I have attempted to photograph these ladybugs and my lens gets to close them they will make a lunging motion at my camera where as other ladybug species will play dead and fall further into the brush to hide or simply run away.
View more photos of Seven-spotted ladybug ( coccinella septempunctata )
The California Lady Beetle ( Coccinella Californica )
When I first started photographing this species I thought I was looking at a 7-spotted ladybug that simply did not have any spots except a possible small spot at the junction of the elytra. The markings on the pronotum are very similar to the seven spotted ladybug and they have a very dome shaped elytra. They tend to be a bit smaller then the 7-spotted ladybugs and also more often have a red-orange color. Also the separation in the elytra is disctinctly outlined in black.
View more photos of the california ladybug ( coccinella californica )
Coccinella Trifasciata Subversa
This beautiful little ladybug is actually a subspecies of Coccinella Trifasciata - the Three-banded lady beetle. Of the ones I have observed they all seem to be red-orange in color and have a single black band encasing white and spanning both elytra. This band is sometimes broken to give the appearance of three spots. I have found very few of these ladybugs where I live competing for food against the other species.
View more photos of coccinella trifasciata subversa
The Multi-colored Asian Lady Beetle ( Harmonia Axyridis )
The Asian lady beetle takes on a vast number of beautiful color patterns and goes under a number of names depending on where you are in the world. Other names include: Harlequin ladybird, Halloween ladybug, Japenese ladybird, pumpkin ladybird and the many-named ladybird.
It is considered a beneficial insect because it is widely used for biological pest control. However this ladybug has a reputation for biting (not dangerously), invading peoples homes in fall and winter, staining peoples belongings from their excessive reflex bleeding and even being an agricultural pest to vineyards as they have been known to contaminate grapes and other soft bodied fruits. There is also evidence to suggest that they out compete other native species of ladybugs for food where they are introduced.
View more photos of multi-colored asian ladybug
Twenty-Spotted Ladybird Beetle, Psyllobora vigintimaculata
Psyllobora vigintimaculata is a really small ladybug! It's only about 2-3mm in size and blends in really well with it's surroundings. It a yellowish, tan species that inhabits North America ranging in various areas as far north as Alaska and south to Mexico. Different from most ladybugs these tiny beetles feed on mildew.
In our yard just a month a go our cosmo bushes were teaming with the much larger species of ladybug hippodamia convergens. Now the bushes are heavily brushed with mildew and provide the perfect environment for these tiny little psyllobora species. These ladybugs' mandibles are lined with rake-like rows of small teeth used in gathering their food.
View more photos of the twenty-spotted ladybug ( psyllobora viginitmaculata )
More ladybug species: Page 2
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Have you seen ladybugs where you live? Take pictures of the species near your house and share them with us. We would love to see what species are living near you. You can contribute your ladybug pictures here!
Learn some great facts about ladybugs such as what they are, what they eat, where to find them and much more!
Learn about the anatomy of ladybugs. The most well known part of the ladybug is called the elytra which is the outer hard shell-like wings of the ladybug.
Ladybug Life Cycle
Ladybugs sure grow up fast. Like other beetles they have complex little lives. Learn the phases of a ladybug's life cycle here!
Ladybug for Pest Control
Ladybugs are renowned for their abilities to control a number of pests that eat our plants. Learn the facts about ladybugs & pest control here.