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California Lady Beetle,

California Lady Beetle, "johnsoni" form - Coccinella californica
Sitka County, Alaska, USA
May 3, 2012
Lady Beetles are pretty unusual around Sitka - this is the second one I remember finding in the past several years. Based on a perusal through the guide, my best guess is the 11 spotted Lady Beetle, but I'm not sure about that. I still have it and plan to take better pictures, so if there's anything I should be looking to capture in particular, suggestions are appreciated. Finally, I'm curious if this might be from a release (I know they're sometimes sold for gardners to control aphids) but I don't know what species would typically be found for sale.

Images of this individual: tag all
California Lady Beetle, California Lady Beetle, California Lady Beetle, California Lady Beetle,

Moved from Lady Beetles.

Coccinella californica, "johnsoni" form
This is an amazing find! A distinctive color form of the California Lady Beetle (formerly considered a separate species, Coccinella johnsoni) that occurs only in western North America, from central CA to the Alaska panhandle.

If you could turn it over and photograph the underside, that would be helpful! There are some key ID features on the venter of Coccinella species.

The dark suture (line down middle of back) rules out C. undecimnotata, and the black anterior pronotal margin and two white spots on the head rule out C. novemnotata (which has a white anterior pronotal margin and completely white center of the head).

Lady beetles in subfamily Coccinellinae sold commercially are usually Hippodamia convergens, sometimes Coleomegilla maculata; I've never heard of anyone selling a Coccinella species for biocontrol. (And if they did, it would probably be C. septempunctata.)

thanks -
I added a ventral view. Not sure if it shows what's helpful, but hopefully does.

thank you!
Yes, the color and some of the abdominal structures are well depicted in your ventral photo. Thanks!

looks like novemnotata to me, but i'm no expert

my second guess
was 9-spotted lady beetle, and I would be curious if they're sold to gardeners for aphid management as well. (Just trying to get a sense of the likelihood of a beetle flying in vs. being introduced via human agency.)

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