Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Yard Work – Harmonia axyridis

Lady Beetle
The photo above is a ladybug or ladybird in its larval stage which usually goes for about two weeks. This beetle is probably toward the end of the larval stage judging by the color on its back. After the larval stage it pupates and becomes an adult. Since ladybugs/ladybirds are neither a bug nor a bird the preferred name is lady beetle. Lady beetles belong to the family Coccinellidae which is part of the beetle order, Coleoptera (from the Greek koleos “sheath” and pteron “wing” = sheathed wing). We will hazard a guess that this is Harmonia axyridis (Asian lady beetle), the most common lady beetle in North America. It was introduced into North America several times, most recently in the 1980s by the USDA, to control aphids. It is not known whether the axyridis population in North America is from the intentional introduction or accidental introduction or both.

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