multicolored Asian lady beetle

(Harmonia axyridis)

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

multicolored Asian lady beetle


NNR - Unranked


not listed


Native to eastern Asia and Japan. Introduced for aphid control. Escaped and naturalized.


Widespread and abundant across most of North America, uncommon between the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains. Common in Minnesota.


Early spring to fall

Photo by Alfredo Colon

Meadows, fields, gardens, houses. Any place having plants with aphids.


3 16 to 5 16



This is a 3 16 to 5 16 long, highly variable, ladybird beetle.

The body is oval and dome-shaped. The transition between the head and thorax plate (pronotum), and between the pronotum and the forewings (elytra) is smooth.

The pronotum is white with 4 black spots or patches that usually blend together into a W or M pattern, depending on if it is viewed from the front or from behind. There is no black on the sides. This is the only reliable identifying feature in the field.

The thick, hardened, shell-like forewings (elytra) are highly variable. They may be orange or red and usually have black spots. Fully spotted individuals have 10 spots on each wing cover. The arrangement of the spots is 3-3-3-1; three spots in the first row (at the base of the elytra), the inner spot merging with one on the opposite elytra; three spots in the second row, the middle spot lower than the two adjacent spots; three spots in the third row; and one spot near the tip. The spots may be small and widely separated, or large and merge with adjacent spots. Some or rarely all of the spots may be absent or reduced to faint shadows. Sometimes there appear to be no spots. However, the placement of the spots does not change. If there is only a single spot on the elytra, it will be at one of those ten locations.

The legs are usually brown or reddish.

There are three variations, recognized taxonomically af forma (forms). Harmonia axyridis f. succinea is the nominate form described above. H. a. f. conspicua elytra are black with two red spots. H. a. f. spectabilis elytra are black with four red spots.


Seven-spotted lady beetle (Coccinella septempunctata) elytra are spotted in a 1-4-2 pattern.

Two-spotted lady beetle (Adalia bipunctata) has orange elytra with 1 black spot on each side.

Pests and Diseases

Green Beetle Hanger (Hesperomyces virescens)

Larval Food


Adult Food

Aphids, thrips, mites, scale insects, and eggs of butterflies and moths.

Life Cycle




Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 7, 24, 29, 30.


Ladybug or Lady Beetle?
The term lady beetle is more appropriate than ladybug because the term bug refers to insects in the order Hemiptera and this insect is in the order Coleoptera.

This beetle is to eastern Asia. It was inftoduced into North America to control aphids and scale insects. It is now naturalized.



Coleoptera (beetles)



Polyphaga (water, rove, scarab, longhorn, leaf and snout beetles)









Coccinellidae (ladybird beetles)





No Rank:



Harmonia axyridis var. succinea


multicolored Asian lady beetle

multivariate lady beetle

southern lady beetle

Japanese lady beetle

Asian lady beetle

Halloween lady beetle

harlequin ladybird beetle

pumpkin ladybird beetle

pumpkin ladybug











The hardened forewings on an insect used to protect the fragile hindwings, which are used for flying, in beetles and true bugs.



The saddle-shaped, exoskeletal plate on the upper side of the first segment of the thorax of an insect.


Visitor Photos

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Alfredo Colon

Ladybug larva

  multicolored Asian lady beetle    
  multicolored Asian lady beetle   multicolored Asian lady beetle
  multicolored Asian lady beetle    

Bill Reynolds


  multicolored Asian lady beetle    


  multicolored Asian lady beetle    

Pupa case after the adult has emerged

  multicolored Asian lady beetle    

Robert Briggs

I guess this is one of the bad kind?

  multicolored Asian lady beetle    




  multicolored Asian lady beetle   multicolored Asian lady beetle
  multicolored Asian lady beetle   multicolored Asian lady beetle
  multicolored Asian lady beetle   multicolored Asian lady beetle


  multicolored Asian lady beetle   multicolored Asian lady beetle
  multicolored Asian lady beetle    





  Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle (Harmonia axyridis)
Bill Keim
  Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle (Harmonia axyridis)  




Visitor Videos

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Other Videos

  A.K.5000 Harlequin Ladybird

Published on May 24, 2012

Here's another ladybird video on AnimalKingdom5000, this time it's the harlequin ladybird. The harlequin ladybird is originally native to eastern Asia, but was introduced into other parts of the world mainly to control aphid populations. This ladybird was seen in the United Kingdom in 2004. The harlequin ladybird has a dome-shaped body with smooth wing coverings, white markings on its pronotum (typically defining an "M"- or "W"-shaped black area), and usually brown or reddish legs. It occurs in three main colour forms: red or orange with black spots (known as form succinea); black with four red spots (form spectabilis); and black with two red spots (form conspicua). However, numerous intermediate and divergent forms have also been recorded. The number of spots can vary from 0-22 on this species. The harlequin ladybird has the ability to live in diverse habitats. It is most commonly found on deciduous trees, such as Willow, Sycamore and Maple, and on low growing plants such as Nettles. Harlequin Ladybirds feed most commonly on aphids, but have a wide food range, also feeding on scale insects, adelgids, the eggs and larvae of butterflies and moths, many other small insects, including other ladybirds, pollen, nectar, and sugary fluids, including honeydew and the juice from ripe fruits. The harlequin ladybird is very widespread in the United Kingdom has the potential to wipe out some of the native ladybird species in the country.

Other Facts
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Coccinellidae
Scientific Name: Harmonia axyridis
Length: 7-8 mm
Distribution: Originally from China, Taiwan, Japan, Mongolia & Russia; introduced into the USA, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Egypt, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland & the United Kingdom.
Conservation Status: Not Evaluated

All facts and information are based on what I've researched on the internet or read about in books or heard from other animal experts when I travel to other different countries around the world.

  Harmonia axyridis
Bernardo Segura

Uploaded on Jun 21, 2011

Harmonia axyiridis alimentándose de un áfido Acyrthosiphon pisum.
Fotografo: Bernardo Segura.

  Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle Larva (Coccinellidae: Harmonia axyridis)
Carl Barrentine

Uploaded on Jul 3, 2011

Preparing for metamorphosis to pupa, and then to adult. Photographed at Nisswa, Minnesota (01 July 2011). Thank you to Abigail Parker ( for confirming the identity of this specimen and for explaining its postural behavior.

  Harlequin Ladybirds Harmonia axyridis forms succinea (female) and spectabilis (male) pairing

Published on Jun 1, 2013

The Harlequin or Multivariegate Ladybird Harmonia axyridis, a rather attractive (but potentially very damaging) alien ladybird species, has now been recorded at numerous sites throughout much of the UK. These beetles are Asian in origin and they have been artificially introduced to the USA and several European countries as a form of biological pest control. It would appear that the consequences of earlier artificial introductions of alien species have either never been learned, poorly researched, or otherwise rashly dismissed by those responsible. In the case of the Harlequin Ladybird there are doubtless sophisticated naturally occurring population control factors (e.g. predators, parasites, fungal, bacterial or viral diseases, prey species population cycles) which would keep the numbers in check in their own habitat. However, these same factors are not (yet) operational in the UK. It is highly likely that the parents of the first UK-bred generations arrived by emigration from the northern coast of Belgium - although the arrival of some beetles in produce cannot be ruled out. The Harlequin adults and pupae are both very variable and two of the recognised colour forms (a typical 19-spot 'succinea' female and a four-spotted 'spectabilis' male) have been illustrated here. The white spots on the sides of the pronotum are very obvious in all variant adults and the larvae and pre-pupae are very easy to separate from all of the native British species as they have distinctive orange markings. Several stages of the life-history may be observed at the same time and this species may be capable of producing at least three broods during a single season if conditions are favourable. This insect is predatory on the same prey items (aphids, etc.) as most of the native British ladybird species, but unfortunately also on those useful insects which naturally control garden and crop pests themselves, namely lacewings, hoverfly larvae and other ladybirds, particularly the Two-spot Adalia bipunctata judging from the subsequent population crash of this formerly abundant insect. Now that Harlequin Ladybirds have become numerous the natural balance between these native predator and prey species could be irreparably damaged.

  Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle Pupa (Coccinellidae: Harmonia axyridis)
Carl Barrentine

Uploaded on Sep 11, 2011

Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (11 September 2011).





Visitor Sightings

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Alfredo Colon

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

multicolored Asian lady beetle

Bill Reynolds

Location: Pennington Co., MN


multicolored Asian lady beetle

Bill Reynolds

Location: Pennington Co., MN


multicolored Asian lady beetle

Robert Briggs

Location: Afton State Park

I guess this is one of the bad kind?

multicolored Asian lady beetle

Crystal Boyd
6/10 and 6/11/2013

Location: Uncas Dunes SNA






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