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Coccinellidae Latreille, 1807
Lady Beetles; Ladybugs; Ladybirds

Life   Insecta   Coleoptera

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Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, Crematogaster lineolata, Aphis folsomii, Parthenocissus quinquefolia
© John Pickering, 2004-2019 · 20
Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, Crematogaster lineolata, Aphis folsomii, Parthenocissus quinquefolia
Chilocorus renipustulatus
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 11
Chilocorus renipustulatus

Psyllobora vigintimaculata
Copyright Hadel Go 2014 · 10
Psyllobora vigintimaculata
Hippodamia oregonensis
© Copyright Gail Starr 2011 · 10
Hippodamia oregonensis

Harmonia axyridis, Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle
© John Pickering, 2004-2019 · 9
Harmonia axyridis, Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle
Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, Crematogaster lineolata, Aphis folsomii, Parthenocissus quinquefolia
© John Pickering, 2004-2019 · 9
Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, Crematogaster lineolata, Aphis folsomii, Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Coccinella californica, California ladybeetle
© Copyright Gail Starr 2011 · 9
Coccinella californica, California ladybeetle
Chilocorus bipustulatus Heather Lady Beetle
© Copyright Hadel Go 2014-2015 · 8
Chilocorus bipustulatus Heather Lady Beetle

Chilocorus bipustulatus Heather Lady Beetle
© Copyright Hadel Go 2014-2015 · 8
Chilocorus bipustulatus Heather Lady Beetle
Psyllobora vigintimaculata
Copyright Hadel Go 2014 · 8
Psyllobora vigintimaculata

Propylea quatuordecimpunctata
Copyright Hadel Go 2014 · 8
Propylea quatuordecimpunctata
Harmonia axyridis
© John Pickering, 2004-2019 · 8
Harmonia axyridis

Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, Mealybug Lady Beetle, larva
© John Pickering, 2004-2019 · 8
Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, Mealybug Lady Beetle, larva
Harmonia axyridis Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle
© Copyright Hadel Go 2014-2015 · 7
Harmonia axyridis Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle
"Although North America's almost 500 species of Coccinellidae include three species that attack plants and another three which eat fungal spores, most lady beetles are extraordinary consumers of aphids and related soft-bodied insects such as mealybugs. The familiar rotund little red or orange beetles that everyone recognises as lady beetles usually specialize on aphids, and are among the most beneficial of beetles."

"Members of this family are quite oval and dorsally convex in overall body form. They commonly have a very glossy cuticl e with red, orange or yellow markings, but some may be dull and covered with setae. They have characteristic tarsi that are 4-segmented, but appear 3-segmented. The third tarsomere is small and is obscured by the dilated second tarsomere. The antennae are short and well-clubbed."-- Eddie Dunbar, Berkeley

Lady Beetles

Superfamily -- Cucujoidea


  • Chilocorinae: Chilocoris
  • Coccinellinae: Adalia, Anatis, Anisosticta, Calvia, Coccinella, Coleomagilla, Cycloneda, Harmonia, Hippodamia, Mulsantia, Neoharmonia, Propylea, Psyllobora
  • Epilachninae: Epilachna
  • Scymninae: Brachiacantha Cryptolaemus Hyperaspis

Geographic distribution
Coccinella species usually fit the popular image of "typical" lady beetles - rounded, convex, reddish orange beetles with black markings. We have about half a dozen species in the province, but our only currently common Coccinella is the introduced species C. septempunctata."

"Ontario has two large (7-10mm), distinctive species in the genus Anatis."

Natural history
Most larvae and adults are predators of small insects such as aphids.

Links to other sites

  • Seeno, T. and J.A. Wilcox. 1982. Leaf Beetle Genera (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Entomography 1:1-221.
  • Gordon, Robert D. 1985. The Coccinellidae (Coleoptera) of America North of Mexico. Journal of the New York Entomological Society 93: 1-912.

  • Steve Marshall, Environmental Biology, University of Guelph, Ontario

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Hosts · map
FamilyScientific name @ source (records)
Apiaceae  Daucus carota @ PN- (1)

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lady beetles


What do they look like?

Adult Lady Beetles are round and small (1-10 mm) long. They are usually colored in some combination of black and red, orange, or yellow, and often have spots on their wing covers. Some species always have the same pattern of colors and spots, but in some species individual beetles can have very different colors. Lady Beetle antennae are short, shorter than the front legs, and are thicker at the ends than the middle. Lady Beetle larvae are also colored in some combination of black and red or orange. They are very active, and have rather rough or bumpy looking bodies that are longer than the adults. Lady Beetle pupae look somewhat like the adults. It is nearly impossible for anybody but experts to tell male Lady Beetles from female ones, and even the experts sometimes can't tell without dissecting the beetle. The bright colors of Lady Beetles are warnings to predators, because all Lady Beetles have toxic chemicals in their blood that makes them taste very bad.

  • Sexual Dimorphism
  • sexes alike
  • Range length
    1.0 to 10.0 mm
    0.04 to 0.39 in

Where do they live?

Lady Beetles are found all around the world. There are hundreds of species of lady beetles in North America. Also over a hundred species have been transported between continents by people hoping they would eat aphids and other pests better than the native beetles do.

What kind of habitat do they need?

Lady Beetles live where their prey live. This means on plants, mostly herbs and bushes, but sometimes trees or even grass. Species that live in temperate climates with cold winters sometimes make short migrations to warmer habitats, and many spend the winter hiding under bark or in a crack or crevice.

How do they grow?

Lady Beetles have the same life stages as other beetles (see More Information on the Beetle page). Lady Beetle larvae are more active than many other kinds of beetles. Lady Beetles spend the winter as adults, and lay their eggs in the following summer. The larvae eat a lot and grow fast, and emerge as adults in the late summer or fall.

How long do they live?

Lady Beetles usually live less than two years.

How do they behave?

As long as there are prey insects to eat, Lady Beetles will be there. They are active in the day if it is not too hot. In fall and winter Lady Beetles hibernate, sometimes in large groups.

How do they communicate with each other?

Lady Beetle communicate with each other mainly with chemicals.

What do they eat?

Most lady beetles are voracious predators. A large adult lady beetle can eat 60 aphids a day, and even a smaller larva might eat 25. In her lifetime, a female lady beetle might eat 2,500 aphids. Some lady beetles eat other kinds of small, soft-bodied insects that are related to aphids. A very few species eat fungal spores, and there are three species in North America that eat plants. One of them is a significant agricultural pest; it eats the leaves of bean plants. A few lady beetles eat pollen, especially early in the spring when there aren't many aphids to eat.

What eats them and how do they avoid being eaten?

All lady beetles have "reflex bleeding." This means that when they are attacked they automatically leak some of their blood out from joints in their legs and other parts of their body. Their blood has toxic chemicals in it, and tastes bad to predators. Their bright colors are probably a warning to predators that they taste bad. Lady beetle larvae often go away from their food supply and hide to pupate. This may help them avoid other predators.

What roles do they have in the ecosystem?

Some Lady Beetle species are important predators on aphids and other insects.

Do they cause problems?

A very few Lady Beetles eat plants we grow for food. Also, Lady Beetles sometimes accidentally hibernate in people's houses or other buildings. A few Lady Beetles may bite, but mainly by accident (you have some chemical on you that tastes good) or to defend themselves. The bite is not dangerous and doesn't hurt much.

  • Ways that these animals might be a problem for humans
  • injures humans
    • bites or stings
  • crop pest
  • household pest

How do they interact with us?

Nearly all Lady Beetle species eat insects that are pests. Sometimes Lady Beetles can be very helpful in controlling pests on farms and in gardens

  • Ways that people benefit from these animals:
  • controls pest population

Are they endangered?

No Lady Beetles species are legally protected, and most are abundant and don't need special conservation. However, some native species have been disappearing at the same time that species from othe continents have arrived or been released. The invaders may be pushing the natives out.

  • IUCN Red List [Link]
    Not Evaluated


George Hammond (author), Animal Diversity Web.


University of Michigan Museum of Zoology National Science Foundation

BioKIDS home   |   Questions?   |   Animal Diversity Web   |   Cybertracker Tools

Hammond, G. . "Coccinellidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 04, 2020 at http://www.biokids.umich.edu/accounts/Coccinellidae/

BioKIDS is sponsored in part by the Interagency Education Research Initiative. It is a partnership of the University of Michigan School of Education , University of Michigan Museum of Zoology , and the Detroit Public Schools . This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DRL-0628151.
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Updated: 2020-04-04 13:05:56 gmt
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