SUSHINITA ASKED:I would like to know of the species of ladybug cos is my fav specie. In Chile there are the usual red with black spots, but there is other specie that kill the first one, and i don’t know how to differentiate between them xD also i really like your tumblr.
Oh gosh okay there are a LOT of ladybug species! North america alone has over 450 different species of them!They are a type of beetle in the order Coccinellidae, which encompasses all types of ladybug/lady beetle. Many of them are known to be useful as they prey on aphids and other plant destroying insects, but some are actually considered pests themselves.
For example, this guy, whom I am VERY familiar with.
This is Harmonia axyridis, also known as the Asian ladybeetle or Harlequin/Halloween ladybeetle. They originally was only found in Asia, but they were introduced to Europe and North America in 1916 in order to control the aphid population. They spread very far and well, and can be very annoying.
Unlike most species of Ladybug, who are rather docile and friendly, these ones can be aggressive and give you a nasty pinch of a bite! In America they swarm in fall to over winter, and they sometimes will get into your house by the hundreds. Not fun at all!
Hippodamia convergens, the Convergent Ladybug, is the native and most common ladybug species in North America. These guys are really nice and won’t bite the hell out of you!
How do you tell the difference? The Asian ladybeetle has an M shape on her pronotum and is more rounded in shape. The Convergent ladybeetle has two white lines and a more oblong body shape. So if there’s an M, they’ll bite. If not, you’ll be okay.
Convergent ladybeetle larvae are pretty gnarly looking! No worries though they love to gobble up aphids.
Lady beetles tend to be toxic for some animals, and have a really stinky defense when startled! They will leak an alkaloid hemolymph from their leg joints or abdomen. You’ve probably seen it before, a yellow fluid that smells terrible. Not many animals want to eat them due to this!
Coleomegilla maculata, the C-Mac or Pink & Black Ladybug is a species that hangs around the border of Canada and USA. They are very pink! They are a lot longer than the more squat species, and they are vicious predators. If you have a garden and you live in that area, you want these guys hanging around cause they eat pest larvae and insect eggs!
Olla v-nigrum, Ashy Gray Lady Beetle has two different color morphs. One which is a grey to white with black spots, and one that is nearly all black but with orange dots on the sides. They are found through the US all the way down to the bottom of South America.
Propylea quatuordecimpunctata, the Fourteen-spotted ladybug is found all over the damn place north of the equator. They also come in many color morphs, but the most common is yellow with black bars. Sometimes they are more black than yellow, or have a more pale or richer, deep yellow. But all of them usually have black bars and splotches more than the perfect dots of other species.
Now, lets end with a really weird one!
Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, the Mealybug Ladybird, or better yet known as the Mealybug Destroyer found south of the equator, mostly in places like Australia and North Africa.They don’t have spots, and are covered in fuzz!
That is the most metal ladybug name that I’ve ever heard.
Like it says on the tin, these guys aggressively pursue mealtybugs, a type of scale insect kinda like aphids in that they hang on plants and suck them dry. They are also really cute!
So here we are, a small sampling of what species there are of this cool little family of beetles. Many of them look very similar with the black and red coloration. This is because its a warning to other animals not to eat them. But they do vary and are really cool.
All except for Harmonia axyridis. Please stop swarming into my house and falling into stuff I’m trying to cook on the stove please and thanks.
Now I end with a cool gif of how they open their elytra and spread their wings!