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Spotted Lady Beetle - Naemia seriata

Spotted Lady Beetle - Naemia seriata
Sunnyvale WPC, SF Bay, Santa Clara County, California, USA
April 8, 2008
Size: 6-7 mm
One of many species resident in the Cardoon fields of the Sunnyvale Water Pollution Control ponds. The cardoon out there on the levees hosted many kinds of beetles including two ladybug species, stink bugs and harlequin bugs, syrphid flies, jumping spiders, etc, a wonderful insect fauna supported by the large numbers of aphids living on the cardoon; unfortunately, the powers-that-be went through in late April and destroyed all of it with herbicide. True, cardoon is an invasive plant, but there are no native plants out there anyway, only jungles of Black Mustard, fennel, wild radish and various cress sp -- why pick on the cardoon? Anyway, I'd like a species ID for this spotted Choleoptera.

Moved from Naemia seriata.


now we're there...
This Coccinellid appears to be Naemia seriata ssp per T. Moyer. The initial ID of Coleomegilla maculata is probably not correct, as the latter's spots on the pronotum and the extreme elytra apex are not conjoined as are those of N. seriata. Mr Moyer suggests that the ssp is litigiosa; I do not know if this conclusion is based on geographical distribution or some feature visible in the photo. Per the ITIS web site, both ssp appear to be widely distributed in N America, but according to the comments below the other N seriata on this site, distribution is eastern NA. (?)

Moved from ID Request

All the Coccinellids that I'm
All the Coccinellids that I'm familiar with have a black and white pronotum, and most are more hemispherical in shape. This one's pronotum is patterned like the elytra; thus, I thought it might not be a ladybug at all. Certainly the legs and antenna are typical Coccinellidae. Anyway, thanks for the call, confirmed by the Cornell site.

You were almost there...
When you said "...ID for this spotted Coleoptera..."

A Spotted Lady beetle (Coleomegilla maculata)

almost there,
the elongated shape of the scutellur spot, conjoined spots at the extream elytra apex, and conjoined spots on the pronotum say that this is Naemia seriata litigiosa. See comments under These are somewhat difficult to tell from C. maculata, and the official way to tell is C. maculata has the tarsal claw toothed and lacks metasternal postcoxal lines.

Naemia sp
Thanks for the input. What are the differences and distributions between N.s. seriata and litigiosa? Note that on yours the lateral and apical spots are all conjoined, while on mine they are not. Could mine be a new ssp? What does litigiosa mean -- is this a lawyer beetle?

conjoined lateral spots
excellent observation. The seriata subspecies has them conjoined, while the litigiosa subspecies usually does not. We currently have only one other litigiosa image in BugGuide, on which you can see the lateral spots at least less conjoined. The seriata subspecies is distro around the coasts, from New England south around Florida and west to Texas. (I believe there may also be a few southern California records). litigiosa is confined to southern CA. But both yours and the one above are north of what I would consider "southern CA" and the distribution map as I recall from Gordon's book. But it is some 20 years old at this point. I'll re-check Gordon's ref. tomorrow and add the distributions to the species info page

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