ursine spurleg lady beetle

(Brachiacantha ursina)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

ursine spurleg lady beetle

 

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

 

Flight/Season

May to July

Habitat

 

Size

Total Length: to 3 16 (3 to 4.5 mm)

         
          Photo by Alfredo Colon

Identification

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.

 
Similar
Species

 


Larval Food

Scales (Coccidae) in the nests of ants.

 
Adult Food

Adults are often found on milkweed (Asclepias spp.)

 
Life Cycle

 

 
Behavior

 


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 24, 27, 29, 30.


Comments

What’s in a Name?
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.


Taxonomy

Order:

Coleoptera (beetles)

 

Suborder:

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

 

Infraorder:

Cucujiformia

 

Superfamily:

Cucujoidea

 

Family:

Coccinellidae (ladybird beetles)

 

Subfamily:

Scymninae

 

Tribe:

Brachiacanthadini

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

orange-spotted lady beetle

ursine spurleg lady beetle


 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Clypeus

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

 

Elytra

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

 

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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Alfredo Colon


  ursine spurleg lady beetle   ursine spurleg lady beetle
       
  ursine spurleg lady beetle   ursine spurleg lady beetle

       
       
       

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  Orange-spotted Lady Beetle (Brachiacantha ursina)
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Orange-spotted Lady Beetle (Brachiacantha ursina)  

 

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Alfredo Colon
8/20/2018

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

ursine spurleg lady beetle


     
     
 

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