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Asian Multicolored Lady Beetle (Harmonia axyridis)

Detailing the identifying qualities of the Asian Multicolored Lady Beetle, including physical features and territorial reach.

 Updated: 2/2/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Asian Multicolored Lady Beetle  
Picture of Asian-Multicolored-Lady-Beetle

The Asian Mulitcolored Lady Beetle is exceptionally good at spreading out, maiming blossoms, and permanently taking over native territories.

Historically, Lady Beetles, were recognized as a beneficial insect because of their diet. They are known to eat aphids and other plant-harming insects, making them a welcome ally in a garden or farm. This entire family of beetles was therefore 'dedicated' to 'Our Lady' in appreciation for their aid in growing food. They are called ladybugs in the U.S. and ladybirds in the U.K.. Despite working wonders to clear pests from the garden, however, the exotic Asian Multicolored Lady Beetle has become somewhat of a pest itself.

This species of Lady Beetle is actually native to China, Japan and eastern Russia. It is believed to have been introduced to North America in the late 1970's. This species is hardy and fecund, adapting to a variety of habitats and temperature ranges. Hence, it is beginning to replace the native North American species of lady beetles across the continent, taking over territories once home to native beetles.

The vexation doesn't end there. In addition to the subjugating native territory, this species overwinters in clusters, usually in warm buildings (homes, offices), where a few can make their way in from the exterior walls into the building's interior. They can emit a pungent odor (as a defense against predators) which, en masse, can create an unappealing smell in the area of the building where they congregate. They also bite, though it is not a medically significant wound.

Wingless larvae appear nothing like their smooth rounded adult forms. Instead, they are tubular like a short, small caterpillar, and they have an array of spikes along the edge of the body as well as on top. Adults have shiny, rounded bodies and can be red, orange, brown or tan with a variety of black spots on them. Their coloration varies greatly between individuals. Spot patterns are also variable.

Picture of the Asian Multicolored Lady Beetle
Picture of the Asian Multicolored Lady Beetle

Asian Multicolored Lady Beetle Information

Category: Beetle
Common Name: Asian Multicolored Lady Beetle
Scientific Name: Harmonia axyridis
Other Name(s): Asian Ladybug

Taxonomy Hierarchy

 Arrow graphic Kingdom: Animalia
  Arrow graphic Phylum: Arthropoda
   Arrow graphic Class: Insecta
    Arrow graphic Order: Coleoptera
     Arrow graphic Family: Coccinellidae
      Arrow graphic Genus: Harmonia
       Arrow graphic Species: axyridis

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 4 mm to 8 mm (0.156 inches to 0.312 inches)
Identifying Colors: orange; yellow; black; tan
Additional Descriptors: ladybug, smelly, spiny, harmful, flying, biting

North American Territorial Reach (Though Not Limited To): Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan and Mexico

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

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