Updated October 25, 2017
Oops! Robert Bercha kindly corrected my misidentification of this ladybug. Thank you!
I almost missed this little beauty. The bright red caught my eye but I assumed it was merely another seven-spot ladybug beetle. An introduced species, seven-spots do a good job of controlling aphids and other plant pests. The down side? They have almost displaced native ladybugs in many areas.
This one is a true native: an eye-spotted ladybug beetle, named for the two big “eyes”. The Lost Ladybug Project shows a wide variation of colour in this species — scroll down to Anatis mali and click on the photo icon — from the typical red shown here to dark brown almost black.
” … the lady bug in question is actually one of the color morphs of the two-spotted ladybug, Adalia bipunctata. The Two spot comes with multiple options of spots and bands. What doesn’t change on them though is the little castle shaped mark on the back of the pronotum. Anatis mali, is a much larger (~8mm) Ladybug with a very distinctive and different pattern. You can see more photos here and here: http://www.insectsofalberta.com/twospotladybug.htm and http://www.insectsofalberta.com/eyespottedlb.htm.
Yup, now that I know what I’m looking for — the two little white squares behind the eyes — I’ll recognize this little beetle for sure when next we meet. 🙂
The Lost Ladybug Project began at Cornell University in 2000 as an outreach program with a 4-H program in New York State. It’s geared to helping young people learn more about science, especially biology, by getting them directly involved in gathering data.
Adults can also help by submitting findings and photos to the site.
Eye-spotted ladybug beetle Anatis maliTwo-spot ladybug beetle Adalia bipunctata
Dwarf/swamp birch Betula pumila (?)