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Convergent Lady Beetle (Hippodamia convergens)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Convergent Lady Beetle.


 Updated: 2/22/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org



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





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. Individuals share the same white lines that surround the prothorax ('shoulder plate') and converge behind the head. White dashes mark the top of the prothorax: one on the left side and one on the right. The larvae of Lady Beetles are completely different than the adult form and look more like tiny alligators. Larvae have long, tubular bodies with six legs near the head. They are spiky and have orange dots on their black bodies. They change appearance again as pupae, appearing round and plump like a snail. At this stage, their coloring is orange with black spots, a reversal of their larval coloring. It is not uncommon to find Convergent Lady Beetles clustered together throughout their life stages on the ground or near each other on plants.

They are native biological controls for plant pests like aphids, which can ruin fruit. Containers of living Convergent Lady Beetles can be purchased for garden and farm field release, though the effectiveness of this is being studied. If populations of these beetles can remain in agricultural areas, they offer farmers and gardeners a consistent, organic means of protecting harvests. 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. Nonnative Lady Beetles, like the ubiquitous Asian Multicolored Lady Beetle, can displace a native Convergent Lady Beetle population. These issues have not hindered the interest in using Convergent Lady Beetles for pest control.

If food sources are low, this species can lengthen parts of the life cycle to accommodate scarce food sources. For example, larvae may take more time to pupate, allowing aphid and whitefly numbers to increase. This strategy then increases the survival and reproduction of the beetles once they are mature adults looking for food. 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.
Basic Information
Common Name: Convergent Lady Beetle
Other Name(s): Convergent Lady Bug
Scientific Name: Hippodamia convergens
Category: Beetle


General Identification
Size (Adult; Length): 4mm to 8mm (0.16in to 0.31in)
Colorwheel Graphic
Identifying Colors: orange, black, red
Additional Descriptors: spotted, dots, helpful, flying




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


Beetle Anatomy
Graphic showing basic anatomy of a common North American Beetle insect
1
Antennae: Beetles have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
2
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and mandibles (jaws).
3
Thorax: Holds the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
4
Elytron: One of two wing cases on a Beetle that protects its wings (plural: elytra).
5
Wings: Appendages used for flying and kept under the elytra until needed.
6
Abdomen: Houses organs related to circulation, reproduction, and excretion.
7
Legs: Beetles have three pairs of legs located at the thorax, numbering six legs in all.


Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Note: 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 below as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections below indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
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
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico


Territorial Area Map (Visual Reference Guide)
The map below showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Convergent Lady Beetle may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data can be useful in seeing concentrations of a particular species over the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some species are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America.
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
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State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


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