Monday, June 24, 2013

Native Species Profile - Orange-spotted Lady Beetle

The Orange-Spotted Lady Beetle (Brachiacantha ursina) is a lady beetle that is native the eastern United States and Canada.  Its range is roughly triangular in shape extending from South Carolina northwest to North Dakota and Manitoba then eastward to Maine and New Brunswick.  Mid-Michigan sits almost exactly in the center of this range.

The Orange-Spotted Lady Beetle is a small beetle that measures roughly 3 - 4 millimeters (0.11 - 0.15 inches) long and 2.1 - 2.8 mm (0 .08 - 0.11 inches) wide.  It is mainly black with orange spots on its elytra. It preys on scale insects (rather than aphids) and is often associated with Milkweed (Asclepias) plants.  Its larva live below ground and are rarely seen.

Orange-spotted Lady Beetle (Brachiacantha ursina) on Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

Orange-spotted Lady Beetle (Brachiacantha ursina) on Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

Basic Information

Orange-spotted Lady Beetle 
Braciacantha ursina

Size:  0.11 - 0.15" (3-4mm) long,  0 .08 - 0.11" (2.1-2.8mm) wide

Color:  Black with 5 orange spots on each elytrum

Habitat:  fields, pastures, roadsides, agricultural lands, gardens, often associated with Milkweed plants

Time Found: May - October (mainly June)

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