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  • Convergent Lady Beetle - (Hippodamia convergens)

    Convergent Lady Beetle - (Hippodamia convergens)

    The native Convergent Lady Beetle is beloved for its diet of pesky insects, benefiting plants and the people that eat them.

    Staff Writer (8/15/2017): Though all Convergent Lady Beetles are reddish-orange with black spots on the elytra (wing covering), some individuals have all 13 black spots while others have fewer than that. All of them have the same white lines bordering the prothorax ('shoulder plate') that converge, or meet behind the head. Two white lines within the white border run parallel to the midline, one on the left side, one on the right The larvae of Lady Beetles look completely different than the adult form. Larvae have long, tubular bodies with six legs near the head. They are spiky and have orange dots on their black, alligator-like bodies. They morph again as pupae, appearing round and plump, somewhat like a snail, but their coloring is orange with black spots, a reversal of their larval coloring. It is not uncommon to find them clustered together on the ground or near each other on plants throughout their life stages.

    Containers of living Convergent Lady Beetles can be purchased for garden and farm field release, though the effectiveness of this is being studied. They are native biological controls for plant pests like aphids, which can ruin fruit. If populations of these beetles can stabilize in agricultural areas, they offer farmers and gardeners a consistent, organic means of protecting harvests. If food sources are low, this species can lengthen parts of the life cycle to accommodate scarce food sources. Larvae may pupate longer, allowing aphid and whitefly numbers to increase, which then increases the survival and reproduction of the beetles once they are mature adults. Once released after purchase, however, there is no guarantee the Convergent Lady Beetles remain near the release site. Concerns that commercial beetles may harbor parasites have been raised. Exotic Lady Beetles, like the ubiquitous Asian Multicolored Lady Beetle, can displace the native Convergent Lady Beetle rendering their purchase mute. Despite these issues, this method of pest control remains popular.

    Look for Convergent Lady Beetles in agricultural areas, gardens, meadows, lakeshores, and parks. Larvae and pupae are typically seen in early spring to early summer. Adults are active from spring through the summer.

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    Details of the:
    Convergent Lady Beetle

    Category: Beetle
    Common name: Convergent Lady Beetle
    Scientific Name: Hippodamia convergens
    Other Names: Convergent Lady Bug

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Coleoptera
          Family: Coccinellidae
           Genus: Hippodamia
            Species: convergens

    Size (Adult, Length): 4mm to 8mm (0.16in to 0.31in)

    Identifying Colors: orange, black, red

    Additional Descriptors: spotted, dots, helpful, flying

    North American 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; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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