ursine spurleg lady beetle

(Brachiacantha ursina)

Conservation Status
ursine spurleg lady beetle
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

 
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

 
  Minnesota

not listed

 
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Ursine spurleg lady beetle is a small lady beetle. It occurs across the United States and southern Canada.

The body is elongated oval when viewed from above, hemispherical when viewed from the side, to 3 16 long (3 to 4.5 mm) long, and 1 16 to (2.1 to 3.2 mm) wide.

The head is shallowly inserted into the thorax, but is visible from above. On the male the head is black but the upper face (frons) is mostly yellow. The plate just above the mouth (clypeus) may be slightly darker or brown. On the female the head is yellow except for the clypeus, which is brown or black. The antennae have 11 segments. They are very short and club-shaped, thicker near the tip than at the base.

The upper thoracic plate (pronotum) is convex and wider than long. It is black with a large yellow to orange spot at each front corner. On the male it has a narrow yellow to orange front margin. The triangular plate (scutellum) between the bases of the hardened forewings (elytra) is small, triangular, and wider than long.

The elytra are strongly convex and very narrowly flattened at the margins. They completely cover the abdomen. They are black with five yellow to yellowish-orange spots on each elytron. They are shiny but are covered with fine pits (punctures) that make them look slightly dull. In our area (the Midwest) the spots sometimes converge, making the elytra mostly yellow to yellowish-orange.

The legs are yellowish-brown. The fourth segment (tibia) on the middle and hind legs have two spurs at the tip. The last part of each leg (tarsus), corresponding to the foot, has four segments, but the third segment is very short and tucked within the extended lobes of the second segment, making the leg appear to have only three segments. The tip of the last tarsal segment on the middle and hind legs has a pair of claws. Each claw has a large tooth at the base.

The fourth segment (tibia) of each front leg has a spine that faces to the side. The last part of each leg (tarsus), corresponding to the foot, has four segments, but the third segment is very short and tucked within the extended lobes of the second segment, making the leg appear to have only three segments.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: to 3 16 (3 to 4.5 mm)

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

 

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

May to July

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

 

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

 

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

Scales (Coccidae) in the nests of ants.

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Adults are often found on milkweed (Asclepias spp.)

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 27, 29, 30, 82.

 
  6/25/2022      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Coleoptera (beetles)  
 

Suborder

Polyphaga (water, rove, scarab, long-horned, leaf, and snout beetles)  
 

Infraorder

Cucujiformia  
 

Superfamily

Coccinelloidea (lady, fungus, scavenger, and bark beetles)  
 

Family

Coccinellidae (lady beetles)  
 

Subfamily

Scymninae  
 

Tribe

Brachiacanthadini  
  Genus Brachiacantha (spurleg lady beetles)  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

orange-spotted lady beetle

ursine spurleg lady beetle

 
     
 

The term “ursine” means resembling a bear. This may have more to do with the imagination of the namer than to the appearance of the beetle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Clypeus

On insects, a hardened plate on the face above the upper lip (labrum).

 

Elytra

The hardened or leathery forewings of beetles used to protect the fragile hindwings, which are used for flying. Singular: elytron.

 

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.

 

Scutellum

The exoskeletal plate covering the rearward (posterior) part of the middle segment of the thorax in some insects. In Coleoptera, Hemiptera, and Homoptera, the dorsal, often triangular plate behind the pronotum and between the bases of the front wings. In Diptera, the exoskeletal plate between the abdomen and the thorax.

 

Tarsus

The last two to five subdivisions of an insect’s leg, attached to the tibia; the foot. Plural: tarsi.

 

Tibia

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

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Mike Poeppe

 
    ursine spurleg lady beetle      
 

Alfredo Colon

 
    ursine spurleg lady beetle   ursine spurleg lady beetle  
           
    ursine spurleg lady beetle   ursine spurleg lady beetle  
           
 
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Slideshows
 
Orange-spotted Lady Beetle (Brachiacantha ursina)
Andree Reno Sanborn
  Orange-spotted Lady Beetle (Brachiacantha ursina)  

 

slideshow

       
 
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Other Videos
 
     
     
     

 

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Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

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  Mike Poeppe
6/22/2022

Location: just west of Houston, MN

ursine spurleg lady beetle

 
  Alfredo Colon
8/20/2018

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

ursine spurleg lady beetle  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
 

 

 

 

 

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Created: 7/8/2019

Last Updated:

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