Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

See Moth submissions from National Moth Week 2023

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events


Species Novius cardinalis - Vedalia Beetle

Vedalia Lady Beetle - Novius cardinalis Rodolia cardinalis pupa? - Novius cardinalis Rodolia cardinalis - Novius cardinalis Rodolia cardinalis (Mulsant) - Novius cardinalis Novius cardinalis (Mulsant) - Novius cardinalis Novius cardinalis (Mulsant) - Novius cardinalis Rodolia cardinalis (Mulsant) - Novius cardinalis Novius cardinalis
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga
No Taxon (Series Cucujiformia)
Superfamily Coccinelloidea
No Taxon (Coccinellid group)
Family Coccinellidae (Lady Beetles)
Subfamily Coccidulinae
Tribe Noviini
Genus Novius
Species cardinalis (Vedalia Beetle)
Other Common Names
Vedalia Lady Beetle
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Novius cardinalis (Mulsant)
Syn: Rodolia cardinalis (Mulsant) (1)
Orig. Comb: Vedalia cardinalis Mulsant 1850
Explanation of Names
'Vedalia Beetle' refers to original genus. Cardinalis probably refers to the bright red color, similar to the red robes of Catholic cardinals.
Rodolia koebelei (Coquillett) was also introduced into California from Australia in 1891, but does not exist there now, although it was thought to have been established for some time. (2),(3)
Length 2.6 to 4.2 mm (2)
Life cycle photos - Natural History of Orange Co., University of California
CA, TX, FL / Mex., etc. - Map [Cite:(4), native to Australia
Acacia, boxwood, citrus, magnolia, Nandina, olive, Pittosporum, and rose - all species attacked by cottony cushion scale. - Cornell University
There are 8 generations per year in the cooler coastal areas of California, and 12 generations per year in the hot, dry inland areas. - Cornell University
R. cardinalis is host specific to cottony cushion scale. Adults and mature larvae feed on all scale stages; young feed on eggs. - Cornell University
Life Cycle
A female will lay from 150-190 eggs during her lifetime. - Cornell University
The vedalia beetle, Rodolia cardinalis, is the most famous introduced beneficial insect in history. (2)
Introduced from Australia to control Cottony Cushion Scale - Icerya purchasi
Over the winter of 1888-1889 a lady beetle called vedalia beetle was introduced into California from Australia to combat cottony cushion scale, Icerya purchasi - also an introduced species. Cottony cushion scale was causing infestations so severe in California citrus groves that growers were pulling out their trees and burning them. Orchard values were plummeting. Yet, by the fall of 1889, the pest was completely controlled in the areas of introduction. The vedalia beetle literally saved the California citrus industry, and since the California success, it has been exported to many other parts of the world, often with equally successful results.
The introduction of the vedalia beetle is considered to be the beginning of classical biological control. - Cornell University
This species proved to be an immediate and spectacular success, and this success precipitated a wave of coccinellid introductions ... Available records show that 179 species have been intentionally imported into North America; 8 species have become established through accidental introductions, 5 of these had been intentionally introduced but did not become established where released. A total of 26 species of foreign Coccinellidae are now definitely or possibly established in North America, 16 of these resulting from intentional releases. (2)
See Also
Anovia virginalis (Wickham) - AZ-TX, UT - Gordon's figures (2)
R. cardinalis can usually be distinguished from A. virginalis by body form. Anovia virginalis is definitely widest just posterior to the humeral callus; R. cardinalis is widest at the middle of the elytra. (2)
Print References
Caltagirone, L.E. and Doutt, R.L. 1989. The history of the vedalia beetle importation to California and its impact on the development of biological control. Annual Review of Entomology 34: 1-16.
DeBach, P. (Ed.) 1964. Biological control of insect pests and weeds. Chapman and Hall, London. xxiv + 844 pp. (5)
Doutt, R.L. 1958. Vice, virtue and the vedalia. Bulletin of the Entomological Society of America 4: 119–123.
Gordon, R.D. 1972. The tribe Noviini of the New World (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences 62: 23-31.
Howard, L.O. 1925. Albert Koebele: an obituary. Journal of Economic Entomology, 18(3): 556-562.
Mulsant, M.E. 1850. Species de Coleopteres trimeres securipalpes. Ann. Sci. Phys. Nat. Lyon 2: 1-1104. (p.906)
Pang, Hong, Tang, Xue-Fei, Booth, Roger G., Vandenberg, Natalia, Forrester, Juanita, Mchugh, Joseph, Ślipiński, Adam (2020) Revision of the Australian Coccinellidae (Coleoptera). Genus Novius Mulsant of Tribe Noviini. Annales Zoologici 70(1): 1-24. (1)
Internet References
University of California - Natural History of Orange County, California
Works Cited
1.Revision of the Australian Coccinellidae (Coleoptera). Genus Novius Mulsant of Tribe Noviini.
Pang et al. 2020. Annales Zoologici 70(1): 1-24.
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.American Beetles, Volume II: Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea
Arnett, R.H., Jr., M. C. Thomas, P. E. Skelley and J. H. Frank. (eds.). 2002. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL.
4.Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)
5.Biological control of insect pests and weeds.
DeBach, P. (Ed.). 1964. Chapman and Hall, London. xxiv + 844 pp.