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Family Coccinellidae - Lady Beetles

Naemia seriata Coccinella trifasciata perplexa - Coccinella trifasciata Chilocorus cacti  Striped Lady Beetle? - Paranaemia vittigera Coccinellidae - Hippodamia convergens Coccinellidae pupa? - Axion plagiatum Scymninae larva eating Aphis nerii Nymph on photographer's arm. - Mulsantina picta
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)
Other Common Names
Ladybug - Probably the most used by the general public; Ladybird (especially in Canada and the U.K.)
käksə′nelə′dē (kox-ih-NELL-a-DEE)
Explanation of Names
Coccinellidae Latreille 1807
Scientific name: from New Latin coccinella, the diminutive of coccinus, 'scarlet.' That from Greek kokkinos (κοκκινος), from kokkos, "berry." A related Greek term is kermes, an insect that was used to make a scarlet dye. Compare cochineal, another red insect(1).
"Ladybird" was first used in medieval England, perhaps because these predators of agricultural pests were believed to be a gift from Virgin Mary. Other European names have similar associations, such as the German Marienkäfer, 'Mary's beetle.'
>480 spp. in 61 genera in our area(2), ~6000 spp. in 360 genera total(3); species number may further increase as non-native coccinellids get introduced for pest control(4)
Selected local faunas: ~160 spp. in Canada(5), 96 in FL(6), 190 in CA(7), 67 in NH(8), 63 in OK(9), 81 in IA(10), 49 in AR(11), 75 in AB(12), 71 in LA(13), 54 in ND(14), 79 in SD(15), 77 in SK(15)
Family Coccinellidae Latreille 1807
Subfamily STICHOLOTIDINAE Weiss 1901
Very small (1-1.5mm), brown or black. Strongly convex (dome-shaped), hemispherical/spherical.

Genus Microweisea Cockerell 1903
Genus Coccidophilus Brethes 1905
Genus Gnathoweisea Gordon 1970
Genus Nipus Casey 1899
Tribe SERANGIINI Pope 1962
Genus Delphastus Casey 1899

Genus Cephaloscymnus Crotch 1873

Tribe CARINODULINI Gordon, Pakaluk & Slipinski 1989
Body elongate, narrow.
Genus Carinodulinka Slipinski & Tomaszewska 2002

Subfamily SCYMNINAE Mulsant 1846
Adults usually small, oval to oblong, highly convex. Larvae: usually covered with white wax that may form long "hairy" tufts.
Tribe SCYMNILLINI Casey 1899
Small, black, sometimes with red spots. Dorsal surface smooth, pubescent, or both.

Genus Zilus Mulsant 1850
Genus Zagloba Casey 1899
Tribe STETHORINI Dobzhansky 1924
Small, dark brown/black, dorsum pubescent.

Genus Stethorus Weiss 1885
Tribe SCYMNINI Mulsant 1846
Round, oval, or oblong. Brown or black; may have brown, yellow, or red markings. Dorsum and eye pubescent. Larvae covered in white waxy tufts.

Genus Nephaspis Casey 1899
Genus Cryptolaemus Mulsant 1853
Genus Didion Casey 1899
Genus Scymnus Kugelann 1794
Genus Sasajiscymnus Vandenberg 2004
Genus Nephus Mulsant 1846
Tribe DIOMINI Gordon 1899

Genus Diomus Mulsant 1850
Genus Decadiomus Chapin 1933
Tribe SELVADIINI Gordon 1985
Genus Selvadius Casey 1899
Tribe HYPERASPIDINI Mulsant 1846
Round, oval, or oblong. Blue eyes. Black or dark brown with contrasting spots, stripes, wavy lines. One species metallic blue.

Genus Blaisdelliana Gordon 1970
Genus Helesius Casey 1899
Genus Thalassa Mulsant 1850
Genus Hyperaspis Redtenbacher 1844
Genus Hyperaspidius Crotch 1873
Tribe BRACHIACANTHINI Mulsant 1850
Oval or oblong. Blue eyes. Dark with yellow to red or white markings (spots, triangles, diamonds); or yellow to red with black markings.

Genus Brachiacantha Dejean 1837
Tribe CRYPTOGNATHINI Mulsant 1850
Genus Cryptognatha Mulsant 1850
Subfamily CHILOCORINAE Mulsant 1846
Round, oval, or shield-shaped. Profile strongly convex, explanate (helmet-like, with a flared "rim"). Often black with red or orange spots; sometimes red or orange with or without spots; two species metallic blue-green. Larvae with long, multi-branched "spines."

Tribe CHILOCORINI Mulsant 1846
Genus Brumoides Chapin 1965
Genus Brumus Mulsant 1850
Genus Axion Mulsant 1850
Genus Curinus Mulsant 1850
Genus Arawana Leng 1908
Genus Exochomus Redtenbacher 1843
Genus Halmus Mulsant 1850
Genus Chilocorus Leach 1815
Subfamily COCCIDULINAE Mulsant 1846
All pubescent; most round or oval, some elongate. Most species red, brown, or black; one species blue, one species yellow.

Tribe COCCIDULINI Mulsant 1846
Genus Coccidula Kugelann 1798
Genus Rhyzobius Stephens 1829
Tribe NOVIINI Mulsant 1850
Genus Rodolia Mulsant 1850
Genus Anovia Casey 1920
Tribe EXOPLECTRINI Crotch 1874
Genus Exoplectra Chevrolat 1837
Tribe AZYINI Mulsant 1850
Genus Azya Mulsant 1850
Genus Pseudoazya Gordon 1980
Subfamily COCCINELLINAE Latreille 1807
Tribe COCCINELLINI Latreille 1807
Many of the most familiar lady beetles. Oval or oblong, sometimes tapering to a point. Usually brightly colored & marked. Larvae: Dark, "alligator-like," often with colorful markings.

Genus Paranaemia Casey 1899
Genus Naemia Mulsant 1850
Genus Coleomegilla Timberlake 1920
Genus Ceratomegilla Crotch 1873
Genus Hippodamia Dejean 1837
Genus Anisosticta Dejean 1837
Genus Macronaemia Casey 1899
Genus Aphidecta Weise 1899
Genus Adalia Mulsant 1850
Genus Coccinella Linnaeus 1758
Genus Cycloneda Crotch 1871
Genus Harmonia Mulsant 1850
Genus Anatis Mulsant 1850
Genus Myzia Mulsant 1846
Genus Calvia Mulsant 1850
Genus Propylea Mulsant 1846
Genus Coelophora Mulsant 1850
Genus Olla Casey 1899
Genus Neoharmonia Crotch 1871
Genus Mulsantina Weise 1906
Tribe HALYZIINI Mulsant 1846
Small to very small (1-3 mm). Pronotum transparent. White or light brown with brown, black, or orange spots. Larvae light gray, may have black and orange markings.

Genus Psyllobora Dejean 1836
Subfamily EPILACHNINAE Ganglbauer 1899
Herbivorous. Round to oval, highly convex, orange or yellow with dark spots. Larvae yellow with long spines & reduced legs.

Tribe EPILACHNINI Costa 1849
Genus Epilachna Dejean 1837
Genus Subcoccinella Huber 1842
Released but not established: Ceratomegilla undecimnotata, Oenopia conglobata, Scymnus frontalis (all widespread Palaearctic spp.)(4)
Adults 1-10 mm; larvae up to twice as long
Red lady beetles with black spots are among the most easily-recognized insects. There are many other colors and patterns, though, which can be hard to identify. The following physical features will identify all lady beetles, no matter what color they are.
Rounded or oval, dorsally convex (dome-shaped), nearly flat on the ventral (bottom)

Pronotum (hard shell in front of wings) often conceals the head from above, and may even look like a head. Photos show the same species with and without head concealed.

Antennae short or very short with 8-11 segments; last 3-6 segments form a weak club.

Tarsi 4-4-4 but appear 3-3-3.

First abdominal sternite entire, not divided by hind coxae (characteristic of suborder Polyphaga of the Coleoptera)

Larvae [key to genera and selected species in(16)]
Larvae are soft-bodied, flattened, and "alligator-shaped". Predatory species have fully-developed legs. Larvae go through 4 instars, that is they molt three times before pupating; the instars can be fairly different. Many are gray or black and may have colorful markings (A). Others have waxy white tufts, resembling caterpillars or mealybugs (B). Plant-eating larvae are yellow with long spines (C).
A. B. C.
Worldwide and across NA
Active adults and larvae are present from spring to fall. Some adults can survive cold winters, but are usually inactive. All life stages present year-round in the south.
Most lady beetles are predatory, eating a wide variety of other insects. Prey includes aphids (A, B), mealybugs, scale insects, fly larvae (C), and small caterpillars. They also eat insect eggs (D) and pupae (E) - even those of other lady beetles (F).
A. B. C. D. E. F.
Some are herbivorous and can be destructive in gardens (A). Others consume fungus, such as mildew and plant molds (B). Predatory species may supplement their diet with pollen (C).
A. B. C.
Non-prey food is an integral diet component of most predaceous coccinellids. Under field conditions, numerous coccinellids consume nectar, honeydew, pollen, fruit, vegetation, and fungus. These non-prey foods increase survival when prey is scarce, reduce mortality during diapause, fuel migration, and enhance reproductive capacity.(17)
Life Cycle
Larvae go through 4 instars. Some larvae have tufts of white wax on the surface that make them look like mealybugs.
Their food is usually similar to that of the adults, and in the predatory species they're often important as pest controls.
Before becoming adults, they go through an immobile stage with a shell-like skin. They shed this pupal case to emerge as adults.
Many species gather in large numbers to hibernate. Some gather along lake shores, particularly in the spring and fall (18)(19)(12)

Identification within the family often depends on pronotum patterns. A frontal view of your specimen will help with ID.
Non-native species (as of 6/3/2015)
Anovia circumclusa, No common name. From Central America
Aphidecta obliterata, Larch Ladybird. From Europe, 1960
Azya orbigera, No common name. From Colombia
Brumus quadripustulatus, Pine Ladybird Beetle
Chilocorus bipustulatus, Heather Lady Beetle. From Middle East/Europe to control scale insects, repeatedly since 1905
Chilocorus circumdatus, Red Chilocorus. From SE Asia, 1996, to control greenhouse pests
Chilocorus kuwanae, No common name. From Korea, 1980s, to control Euonymus Scale
Chilocorus nigrita, No common name. From Asia
Clitostethus arcuatus, No common name. From Israel, 1989
Coccinella septempunctata, Seven-spotted Lady Beetle. From Europe, introduced repeatedly
Coccinella undecimpunctata, Eleven-spotted Lady Beetle. From Europe, 1912
Coelophora inaequalis, Variable Lady Beetle. From Australia
Cryptognatha nodiceps, No common name. From Trinidad, 1930s
Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, Mealybug Destroyer. From Australia, 1891
Curinus coeruleus, Metallic Blue Ladybird Beetle. From the Caribean, recently, repeatedly introduced as pest control
Egius platycephalus, No common name. From the Caribbean, 2013
Exochomus metallicus, No common name. From Eritrea, 1954 to control citricola and black scales
Halmus chalybeus, Steelblue Lady Beetle. From Australia, recently
Harmonia axyridis, Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle. From Asia, introduced repeatedly starting in 1916
Harmonia dimidiata, No common name. From Asia, recently
Harmonia quadripunctata, Four-spotted Lady Beetle. From Europe, 1924
Hippodamia variegata, Variegated Lady Beetle. From Europe
Pharoscymnus flexibilis, No common name. From India, 2011
Propylea quatuordecimpunctata, Fourteen-spotted Lady Beetle. From Europe
Psyllobora schwarzi, No common name. From the Caribbean, 2012
Rhyzobius forestieri, No common name. From Australia, 1892, to control scale insects
Rhyzobius lophanthae, No common name. From Australia, 1892, to control the black scale Saissetia oleae
Rodolia cardinalis, Vedalia Lady Beetle. From Australia, 1888-1889, to control Cottony Cushion Scale
Sasajiscymnus tsugae, No common name. From Japan, 1995
Scymnus impexus, No common name. From Europe, 1951
Scymnus suturalis, No common name. From the Palaearctic, early 1900s
Stethorus punctillum, No common name. From the Palaearctic, to control spider mites, 1955
Subcoccinella vigintiquatuorpunctata, Alfalfa Lady Beetle. From Eurasia, recently
Some 179 coccinellid species have been introduced to the U.S. and Canada; At least 27 of these non-native species have become established.(20)(4)(21)
By 1985, more than 100 species of exotic lady beetles had been introduced into California(22)
Some coccinellids, e.g. Harmonia axyridis, serve as hosts to parasitic Laboulbeniales fungi:
See Also
Chrysomelidae (tarsi appear 4-4-4, vs 3-3-3 in coccinellids)
Print References
Ellis D.R., Prokrym D.R., Adams R.G. (1999) Exotic lady beetle survey in northeastern United States: Hippodamia variegata and Propylea quatuordecimpunctata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Ent. News 110: 73–84.
Harmon J.P., Stephens E.J., Losey J. (2007) The decline of native coccinellids (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in the United States and Canada. J. Insect Conservation 11: 85–94.
Hesler L.S., Kieckhefer R.W. (2008a) Status of exotic and previously common native coccinellids (Coleoptera) in South Dakota landscapes. J. Kans. Ent. Soc. 81: 29-49.
Hesler L.S., Petersen J.D. (2008) Survey for previously common native Coccinellidae (Coleoptera) in the northern Great Plains. Great Lakes Entomol. 41: 60-72.
Internet References
Ladybugs of Maine (Alyokhin et al.)
Ladybugs of South Dakota (Hesler et al. 2010)
Works Cited
1.The Century Dictionary: an encyclopedic lexicon of the English language
2.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.
3.Order Coleoptera Linnaeus, 1758. In: Zhang Z.-Q. (ed.) Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classification...
Ślipiński S.A., Leschen R.A.B., Lawrence J.F. 2011. Zootaxa 3148: 203–208.
4.Field guide to recently introduced species of Coccinellidae (Coleoptera) in North America
Robert Gordon and Natalia Vandenberg. 1991. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington.
5.Bousquet Y., ed. (1991) Checklist of the beetles of Canada and Alaska
6. A distributional checklist of the beetles (Coleoptera) of Florida.
Peck & Thomas. 1998. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Gainesville. 180 pp.
7.California Beetle Project
8.University of New Hampshire Insect and Arachnid Collections
9.Checklist of the Coleoptera of Oklahoma
10.An annotated checklist of the lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) of Iowa, U.S.A.
Hesler L.S. 2009. Insecta Mundi 0091: 1-10.
11.A checklist of the Coccinellidae of Arkansas.
Rouse, E.P., and J.B. Chapin. 1976. Proceedings of the Arkansas Academy of Science 30: 76-77.
12.Ladybugs of Alberta
John Acorn. 2007. University of Alberta Press, 169 pages.
13.The Coccinellidae of Louisiana (Insecta: Coleoptera).
Chapin, J.B. 1974. Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 682: 2-87.
14.A list of the lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) of North Dakota with new records from North Dakota and Minnesota
Fauske G.M., Tinerella P.P., Rider D.A. 2003. J. Kans. Ent. Soc. 76: 38-46.
15.Key to lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) of Saskatchewan
Larson D.J. 2013. Ent. Soc. Saskatchewan. 37 pp.
16.Larval key to Genera and selected Species of North American Cocinellidae (Coleoptera)
Rees, B. E., Anderson, D. M., Bouk, D., and Gordon, R. D. 1994. Proceedings of The Entomological Society of Washington, vol. 96(3), pp. 387-412.
17.Nutritional aspects of non-prey foods in the life histories of predaceous Coccinellidae.
Lundgren, J.G. 2009. Biological Control 51(2): 294–305.
18.Aggregation of lady beetles on the shores of lakes (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae).
Lee, R.E., Jr. 1980. American Midland Naturalist, 104(2): 295-304.
19.Causes and consequences of ladybug washups in the Finger Lakes region of New York State (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae).
Denemark, E. and J. Losey. 2010. Entomologica Americana, 116: 78-88.
20.The Coccinellidae (Coleoptera) of America North of Mexico
Robert D. Gordon. 1985. Journal of the New York Entomological Society, Vol. 93, No. 1.
21.Ladybird beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) recently immigrant to Florida
Thomas M.C., Blanchard O.J. 2013. Florida Dept. Agric. & Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry, Entomology Circular Number 428. 5 pp.
22.Introduction to California Beetles (California Natural History Guides, No 78)
Arthur V. Evans, James N. Hogue. 2004. University of California Press.
23.The Lost Ladybug Project (LLP)