Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ladybug Ladybug

C. septempunctata
seven-spotted lady beetle

The lady beetle I found exploring my 'Butterfly' Argyranthemum yesterday morning is a European species which is abundant and widespread in North America. Adults and larvae prey on aphids in open habitats. Adults are active in spring and dormant in summer; they hibernate in large aggregations in winter.

The nine-spotted Lady Beetle (Coccinella novemnotata), which is native to North America is declining in northeastern parts of range due to habitat destruction, declining prey populations, disease, or parasitism. It has a yellowish red or orange elytra, each one with four spots, with pale yellowish markings on sides of the pronotum.

The two-spotted Lady Beetle (Adalia bipunctata) is found in the range of southern Canada and Northern United States, and are a widely distributed species. The are packaged and sold as biological agents to control aphids infestations in gardens, agricultural fields, and vineyards. Adults and larvae feed on aphids from spring through fall, then seek shelter to overwinter. Females lay up to 50 ling, yellowish eggs a day.
The elyton is variably patterned, usually with one round black spot in the middle of each. They have a black head with a red-orange elytron. The black promotum has irregular white margins often resembling a black M.
Convergent Lady Beetles (Hippodamia convergens) range from British columbia to eastern Ontario and south into Mexico. Both adults and larvae feed on aphids; adults will also eat pollen and other plant materials. In California adults migrate to lush mountain canyons in summer to search for food and overwinter in large aggregations; they are collected there and sold in the garden centres for pest control; however, when released into gardens they usually fly away. The long, flat, velvety larvae are black or gray, with small orange spots on the 1st and 4th adominal segments. The orange and black spotted pupae are found attached upside down to plants, walls, and fences. The orange-redelytron usually has seven black spots, with the black pronotum having 2 long converging whitish spots.
Ladybugs will eat about 5,400 ahpids in a lifetime.

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