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Species Coleomegilla maculata - Spotted Pink Lady Beetle

mating Spotted Lady beetle - Coleomegilla maculata Spotted Lady Beetle - Coleomegilla maculata chrysomelidae? - Coleomegilla maculata Spotted Lady Beetle - Coleomegilla maculata Coleomegilla maculata - Spotted Lady Beetle - Coleomegilla maculata Coleomegilla maculata Coleomegilla maculata Florida Beetle for ID - Coleomegilla maculata
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 Coccinellinae
Genus Coleomegilla
Species maculata (Spotted Pink Lady Beetle)
Other Common Names
Pink Spotted Lady Beetle
Spotted Lady Beetle
Twelve-spotted Lady Beetle

(note: the latter two names overlap in descriptive use with other species)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Coleomegilla maculata (Degeer)
Orig. Comb: Coccinella maculata Degeer 1775
One species in North America, with three subspecies (1), but recent research suggests these may be full spp. (2)(3)
length 5-6 mm
larva to 9 mm
Head: black with pink or red triangular marking
Pronotum: pink or yellowish with two large triangular black spots
Elytra: pink to red, oval, with six black spots on each elytron


C. m. lengi (widespread eastern)

C. m. fuscilabris (southeastern)

C. m. strenua (southwestern)

Color: Dark brown with orange markings
e. NA to Calif. / Mex. to S. Amer. / Cuba - Map, Map, Map (1)(4)(BugGuide data indicate range extends farther north than Gordon's map to include Maine, New Brunswick, Quebec, plus Colorado and Nevada)

Gordon(1) distinguishes 3 subspecies, with some relatively slight variations in markings:
1) The most widespread subspecies, C. m. lengi Timberlake, occurs throughout the eastern states (except northern New England, and Florida) and west through the Great Plains. - Map
2) C. m. fuscilabris (Mulsant) occurs in Florida and along the coasts, west to Louisiana, and north to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. - Map
3) C. m. strenua (Casey) occurs along the Mexican border from Texas to California (and presumably south into Mexico). - Map
note that recent research suggests these may be full spp. (2)(3)
Prefers moist habitats where it can be locally abundant.
Adults and larvae are important aphid predators but also prey on mites, insect eggs, and small larvae. Reported prey include pea, green peach, melon (cotton), cabbage, and potato aphids and greenbug; eggs of European corn borer, imported cabbageworm, fall webworm, and corn earworm; asparagus beetle, Mexican bean beetle, and Colorado potato beetle eggs and larvae.
Unlike most lady beetles, plant pollen may constitute up to 50% of the diet. This is the only North American lady beetle that can complete its life cycle on plant pollen. Common pollen food sources are dandelion, squash, corn, and lily.
Life Cycle
Adults overwinter in large aggregations beneath leaf litter and stones along hedgerows or in protected sites along crop borders, especially those of fields planted to corn in the previous season. They emerge from early to mid-spring and disperse, often by walking along the ground, to seek prey and egg laying sites in nearby crops.
Female lady beetles may lay from 200 to more than 1,000 eggs over a one to three month period commencing in spring or early summer. Eggs are usually deposited near prey such as aphids, often in small clusters in protected sites on leaves and stems. Larvae grow from about 1 mm to 9 mm in length and may wander up to 12 m in search of prey. The larva attaches itself by the abdomen to a leaf or other surface to pupate. The pupal stage may last from 3 to 12 days depending on temperature.
Eggs; newborns; larval instars 1, 2, 3, 4, prepupa (end of instar 4); pupa; adult.
Because pollen is an essential component of the diet of Coleomegilla, the planting or preservation of refuges, or interplantings, of early-flowering species with a high pollen load may be beneficial especially to provide a food source during late spring before the build up of aphids. Flowering dandelions, for example, have been recorded as a heavily used pollen source for dispersing adults in late spring potato fields.

Tolerance to some pesticides at recommended application rates is likely. Overwintering adults may be less susceptible than active adults and larvae.
Can develop from egg to adult on pollen alone.(5)
See Also
Calvia quatourdecimguttata, Cream-spotted Lady Beetle (pink form) - Shape much more rounded. Counting back from the pronotum, the second row of spots has two rounded spots on each side, rather than a single elongated spot. Rear of body with one large apical suture spot.

Naemia seriata - Range limited to Atlantic and Gulf Coasts and U.S. Southwest. Color usually yellow or orange; pronotum usually with one large black spot; rear of body usually with one large apical suture spot. Eastern subspecies with solid black head.

However, N. seriata is sometimes red, sometimes with two pronotal spots, sometimes with two apical spots rather than one apical suture spot, and head of Western subspecies has pale triangular marking. Rely on a combination of features, not a single field mark, to separate N. seriata from C. maculata.
Print References
Degeer, C. 1775. Memoires pour Servir a l'Histoire des Insectes. Vol. 5. Stockholm, 448 pp.
Groden, E., F.A. Drummond, R.A. Casagrande, and D.L. Haynes. 1990. Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) its predation upon the Colorado potato beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and its incidence in potatoes and surrounding crops. Journal of Economic Entomology 83: 1306–1315.
Krafsur, E.S. and J.J. Obrycki. 2000. Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) is a species complex. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 93(5): 1156-1161. (2)
Perez, O.G., and M.A. Hoy. 2002. Reproductive incompatibility between two subspecies of Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Florida Entomologist 85(1): 203-207. (3)
Timberlake, P.H. 1943. The Coccinellidae or ladybeetles of the Koebele collection. Part 1. Bulletin of the Experiment station of the Hawaiian sugar planters' association. Entomological series. 22: 1-67.
Works Cited
1.The Coccinellidae (Coleoptera) of America North of Mexico
Robert D. Gordon. 1985. Journal of the New York Entomological Society, Vol. 93, No. 1.
2.Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) is a species complex.
Krafsur, E.S. and J.J. Obrycki. 2000. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 93(5): 1156-1161.
3.Reproductive incompatibility between two subspecies of Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae).
Perez, O.G. and M.A. Hoy. 2002. Florida Entomologist 85(1): 203-207.
4.Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)
5.Insect Ecology: Behavior, Populations and Communities
P. W. Price, R. F. Denno, M. D. Eubanks. 2011. Cambridge University Press.