spotted lady beetle

(Coleomegilla maculata)

Conservation Status
spotted lady beetle
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Spotted lady beetle is an elongated, pink, ladybird beetle. It is very common and widespread, probably the most common native lady beetle in eastern North America.

The body is to ¼ long, 3 32 to wide, broadly oval, dome-shaped, and somewhat flattened above (dorsally).

The head is black with a pink triangular mark on the upper part of the face (frons). The head is visible when viewed from above. The antennae are short and weakly clubbed.

The plate covering the first segment of the thorax (pronotum) is pink with two large, triangular, black spots.

The thick, hardened, shell-like forewings (elytra) are pink with ten black spots. They may appear red but closer examination shows the color to be darkish pink. The spots are in four rows in a 3-2-3-2 pattern. The spots in row 2 are large and undivided. The central (dorsal) spot in rows 1 and 3 are spread over the junction of the two elytra. When the elytra are separated the number of spots becomes twelve.

The underside is flat and black except for the plate covering the first segment of the thorax (prosternum), and the lateral margin of the abdomen, both of which are pink.

The legs are black. When viewed from above, the third leg segment (femur) is visible. There are two spurs at the end (apex) of the fourth leg segment (tibia) of the middle and hind legs.

The larva looks like a tiny, blackish alligator with numerous spines and six legs.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: to ¼

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Wherever plants that host their prey are found

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Two to five generations per year: early or mid-spring to fall

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

 

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

Adults congregate in large numbers to overwinter in a protected area beneath leaf litter and stones, often near crop borders. They emerge in early to mid-spring. The female lays clusters of 8 to 15 eggs in a protected area on a leaf or stem near prey. Over the course of the season the female will lay between 200 and 1,000 eggs. Larvae moult three or four times before pupating. Three to twelve days later the adult emerges depending on the temperature.

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

 

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Plant pollen, aphids, adelgids, mites, insect eggs, and small insect larvae, including grain aphid (Acyrthosiphon dirhodum), pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum), melon aphid (Aphis gossypii), dock aphid (Aphis rumicis), cabbage aphid (Brevicoryne brassicae), turnip aphid (Lipaphis erysimi), English grain aphid (Sitobion avenae), potato aphid (Macrosiphum euphorbiae), Nearctaphis crataegifoliae, lettuce root aphid (Pemphigus bursarius), pine bark adelgid (Pineus strobi).

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 24, 27, 29, 30, 82.
 
  1/25/2021      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Very common and widespread

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Coleoptera (beetles)  
 

Suborder

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

Infraorder

Cucujiformia  
 

Superfamily

Cucujoidea  
 

Family

Coccinellidae (ladybird beetles)  
 

Subfamily

Coccinellinae  
 

Tribe

Coccinellini  
 

Genus

Coleomegilla  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

spotted lady beetle (Coleomegilla maculata fuscilabris)

spotted lady beetle (Coleomegilla maculata lengi)

spotted lady beetle (Coleomegilla maculata strenua)

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

pink spotted lady beetle

pink spotted ladybird beetle

pink-spotted lady beetle

spotted lady beetle

twelve-spotted lady beetle

 
       
 

The term lady beetle is more appropriate than ladybug because the term “bug” refers to insects in the order Hemiptera.

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Elytra

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

 

Femur

On insects and arachnids, the third, largest, most robust segment of the leg, coming immediately before the tibia. On humans, the thigh bone.

 

Frons

The upper part of an insect’s face, roughly corresponding to the forehead.

 

Pronotum

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

 

Tibia

The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot).

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Molly and Robert Power

 
    spotted lady beetle      
 

Alfredo Colon

 
    spotted lady beetle   spotted lady beetle  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
    spotted lady beetle   spotted lady beetle  
           

 

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Slideshows
 
Spotted Lady Beetle (Coleomegilla maculata lengi)
Bill Keim
  Spotted Lady Beetle (Coleomegilla maculata lengi)  
     

 

slideshow

       
 
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Other Videos
 
  Spotted lady beetle on garlic mustard
Laura Elizabeth
 
   
 
About

Published on May 4, 2016

A native Wisconsin ladybug, Coleomegilla maculata (spotted ladybug beetle), on the invasive and very common Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this insect.

 
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  Molly and Robert Power
4/11/2021

Location: Albany MN

spotted lady beetle

 
  Alfredo Colon
August 2019

Location: Slinger, Wisconsin

spotted lady beetle

 
  Alfredo Colon
6/12/2018

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

spotted lady beetle

 
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

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