Subject: Lady Bug on my Woody Plant
Location: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
July 27, 2017 8:58 AM
Last week I found this Lady Bug on my woody plant. Can you identify it?
Signature: Constant Gardener
Dear Constant Gardener,
The white markings on the head and pronotum of this Lady Beetle identify if at a Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle, which you can verify by comparing your image to this head-on image on BugGuide. According to BugGuide: “The adult is highly variable in color and pattern. The base pattern of the species is red to red-orange with 18 spots. These spots may be exaggerated, or eliminated, on an individual basis. The common red form, succinea is dominant in most areas. Melanic forms conspicua (two red markings) and spectabilis (four red markings) are less common, and only starting to establish in the country. Rarely, other forms may appear. Any pattern involving red-orange and black may potentially occur in this species! Although variable, the combination of large size and specific pattern details generally allow easy identification. Darker forms are most commonly mistaken for other dark species. In these cases, look at the white pattern on the head and pronotum (per. J. Bailey).” The Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle is an invasive, exotic species that is competing with and beating native species, leading to decreased sightings of native species of Lady Beetles. For this reason, we must tag this posting as Invasive Exotics. Your “woody plant” looks quite healthy, and though it is an exotic species, this Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle should help keep your plant pest free.