Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Species Brachiacantha ursina - Ursine Spurleg Lady Beetle

B. ursina? - Brachiacantha ursina Beetles - Brachiacantha ursina - male - female Brachiacantha ursina? - Brachiacantha ursina Coccinellidae,  dorsal - Brachiacantha ursina Lady Beetle - Brachiacantha ursina - male Brachiacantha - Brachiacantha ursina Brachiacantha ursina ? - Brachiacantha ursina Coccinellidae, Ursine Spurleg Lady Beetle, lateral - Brachiacantha ursina
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga (Water, Rove, Scarab, Long-horned, Leaf and Snout Beetles)
No Taxon (Series Cucujiformia)
Superfamily Coccinelloidea
No Taxon (Coccinellid group)
Family Coccinellidae (Lady Beetles)
Subfamily Scymninae
Genus Brachiacantha (Spurleg Lady Beetles)
Species ursina (Ursine Spurleg Lady Beetle)
Other Common Names
'bear lady'
'Orange-spotted Lady Beetle'
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Brachiacantha ursina (Fabricius)
Orig. Comb: Cocinella ursina Fabricius 1787
Explanation of Names
ursina (L). 'resembling a bear' (1)
Length 3.0 to 4.0 mm (2)

Five spots on each elytron, which are finely punctured, so slightly dull. Body more elongated than most others in genus.
"The combination of large size and elongate, oval body form will separate ursina from other eastern Brachiacantha having the same color pattern" (2)

Prominent side-facing spine on front tibia (middle section of front leg):

Markings occasionally become confluent, so to resemble Brachiacantha illustris and albifrons from further west.
Roughly a triangle from SC-NB-AB, + 1 record from LA - Map (2)(1)
Often associated with milkweed, Asclepias (3)(4)
mostly: May-July (BG data)
This is the most commonly collected e. sp. of Brachiacantha, but the dorsal color pattern is remarkably uniform. (2)
See Also
B. decempustulata - e. NA (TX-FL-NB-ND) - 2.0-2.5 mm (smaller), elytral spots pale yellow or white.
B. felina - e US (except coastal se US) - 2.2-3.0 mm (+ syn: B. rotunda - 3.1-4.0 mm)
B. ursina - ne NA (SK-SC-NB) - 3-4 mm; most common e. sp. (2)
B. testudo - c. to s. TX
B. uteella - a look-alike occurring in western US, with no overlap. Pattern paler on average.
B. illustris - Rocky Mtns (CO-MT) - 3.4-4.6 mm
Print References
Gordon, 1985, especially pp. 580-582, figures 474-475.(2)
Dillon and Dillon, p. 440, plate 42 (3)
Eaton and Kaufman, p. 154, illustration, p. 155 (5)
Montogomery, H.W. and M.A. Goodrich. 2002. The Brachiacantha (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) of Illinois. Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science 95(2): 111-130. (fig. 4--photo of specimen) Full PDF
Internet References
Mantissa Insectorum, v.1, p.61 - Fabricius' original description
Works Cited
1.Ladybugs of Alberta
John Acorn. 2007. University of Alberta Press, 169 pages.
2.The Coccinellidae (Coleoptera) of America North of Mexico
Robert D. Gordon. 1985. Journal of the New York Entomological Society, Vol. 93, No. 1.
3.A Manual of Common Beetles of Eastern North America
Dillon, Elizabeth S., and Dillon, Lawrence. 1961. Row, Peterson, and Company.
4.Insect herbivores of 12 milkweed (Asclepias) species.
Betz, R.F., W.R. Rommel & J.J. Dichtl. 2000. Pp. 7-19. In: C. Warwick (ed.). Proceedings of the 15th North American Prairie Conference, Natural Areas Association, Bend, OR.
5.Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
Eric Eaton, Kenn Kaufman. 2006. Houghton Mifflin.