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Pink Spotted Lady Beetle (Coleomegilla maculata)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Pink Spotted Lady Beetle



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Image Credit: Alex -icycatelf- Bowen
Full-sized image of the Pink-Spotted-Lady-Beetle Thumbnail image of the Pink-Spotted-Lady-Beetle

A rosy shade of pink highlights the large black dots on the social Pink-spotted Lady Beetle.



Updated: 07/24/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Pink Spotted Lady Beetle can be seen visiting flowers, where it might collect half of its diet from pollen. Pollen grains from squash and corn, as well as dandelion and lily plants are all delicious sources of nutrition. The other half of its diet consists of the pesky insects that can harm plants health, aesthetics, or both. Like other lady beetles, this species is a beneficial insect to have in a garden or crop field thanks to its ability to naturally control pests like aphids, mites, bean and potato beetles, and cabbageworms.

Color shade is a deep pink, bordering on red. A small pink-red triangle sits on the head between its eyes. Twelve black spots sit on the wing coverings with two connecting at the midline, so it may look like ten spots when the wings are closed (rows of 3 spots then 2 spots, then 3 spots and 2 spots). Two large black spots also decorate the tapered pink pronotum. Unlike more common dome-shaped Lady Beetles, the shape of this one is broken into 3 distinguishable segments: head, pronotum, abdomen.

Hungry larvae are black with yellow-orange spots and a ring around the middle of its long, spiky abdomen. The long legs of a larva move quickly as it scans along plant stems and leaves looking for food. Its large appetite helped its Lady Beetle family become known as gardeners' friends.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Patterned insect icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Coccinellidae
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          Genus: Coleomegilla
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            Species: maculata
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Coleomegilla maculata
Other Name(s): Twelve-spotted Lady Beetle; Spotted Lady Beetle
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 5mm to 6mm (0.19" to 0.23")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: red, pink, black
Descriptors: pink, black dots, heart, spots, twelve, 12, flying
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Range Between 5mm and 6mm
Lo: 5mm
Md: 5.5mm
Hi: 6mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
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Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Pink Spotted Lady Beetle may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects 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. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Pink Spotted Lady Beetle. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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