Other Common Names
Armored Scale Lady Beetle
Pine Lady Beetle
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
First described by name in 1758 by Linnaeus
as Coccinella 2-pustulatus
, but citing an earlier description in Linnaeus' Fauna Svecica under the name "Coccinella coleopteris nigris; punctis duobus rubris"
Explanation of Names
bipustulatus: Latin for "two-blistered", referring to the small red spots. There are usually three spots per wing, but they may be joined into two larger spots or a single bumpy line.
"Heather" and "Armored Scale" refer to the beetle's native habitat (European heaths) and its major prey, scale insects.
Length 3.0 to 4.50 mm, width 3.10 to 4.0 mm.
Reddish-brown to black with a horizontal row of three red spots on each elytron (wing cover). The spots may run together and appear as a wavy or bumpy horizontal line.
Non-native; established in San Joaquin Valley, CA
Scale insects, soft scales, and whiteflies.
A native of Europe and the Middle East, this beetle has been introduced worldwide to control scale insects. In the United States, introduction attempts were made in 1905, 1915, 1927, and 1951, when a population finally became established in California.(1)
The beetle cannot survive cold winters, but because it is locally released for biocontrol it may be encountered throughout North America during warm weather. This may account for BugGuide images from New Jersey, Maryland, and even as far north as British Columbia. All these images are from areas near major ports, so the beetles may also be adventive via international shipping.
Chilocorus circumdatus, Red Chilocorus Lady Beetle, has no spots, and is yellowish-orange rather than reddish-brown.
Gordon, R. 1976. "The Coccinellidae (Coleoptera) of America North of Mexico." Journal of the New York Entomological Society 93 (1): pp. 1-912.
Jaihoni, M., Sahragard, A. and Salehi, L. 2008. "Behavioural response of Chilocorus bipustulatus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) to variation in Unaspis eunymi (Homoptera: Diaspididae) density at spatial scales." Munis Entomology & Zoology 3 (2): pp. 749-760.
Yinon, U. 1969. "Food consumption of the armored scale lady-beetle Chilocorus bipustulatus (Coccinellidae)." Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 12 (2): pp. 139-146.
Systema naturae, 10th ed., v.1, p.367
Linnaeus' original official description of the species.
Fauna Svecica, p.146, no.409
Linnaeus' earlier description.