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Lady beetles

2-spotted lady beetle: Adalia bipunctata (L.)
7-spotted lady beetle: Coccinella septempunctata L.
14-spotted lady beetle: Propylea quatuordecimpunctata L.
Multicolored Asian lady beetle (Halloween beetle): Harmonia axyridis (Pallas)

Coleoptera: Coccinellidae

Adults are oval and convex in shape, often brightly colored (e.g., orange-red or yellow) and usually with black spots or marks on their wing covers (A, 2-spotted; B, 7-spotted), sometimes with a checkerboard appearance (C, 14-spotted). H. axyridis is one of the largest lady beetles present in apple orchards and the most voracious; they have an orange tint that may vary from dark to very faint. The number of spots can vary from none to 20 (D, E, F). Lady beetle larvae resemble small alligators [e.g., 7-spotted has a black head and is bluish gray with yellow spots, (G)]. Eggs are laid in masses (10–50) on the undersides of leaves, on fruit, and often close to aphid colonies.

Note: Lady beetles are sensitive to most broad-spectrum insecticides.

Status

Lady beetle larvae and adults are valuable predators of mites, aphids, and immature stages of many other soft-bodied insects that live in trees.

A native of Asia, H. axyridis has been present in eastern North America since the 1990's and is now increasing in number in apple orchards. Large aggregations on houses and other buildings in the spring and fall can be a nuisance to homeowners when the beetles crawl into the living space of buildings. They may also feed on overripe or previously damaged fruits such as apples or peaches (H, I).

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