10 Interesting Facts About Convergent Lady Beetle

Convergent Lady Beetles
Convergent Lady Beetles

The convergent lady beetle scientifically called Hippodamia convergens Guérin-Méneville is one of the most common beetle species mostly seen throughout North America. The natural predators of convergent lady beetles include aphids, scales, thrips, and other soft-bodied insects.  The beetle species prefers thriving in regions equipped with grasslands, forests, agricultural fields, gardens, and natural parks. Here are some interesting facts about convergent lady beetles,

Convergent Lady Beetle
Convergent Lady Beetle

Image Source: Wikimedia

Facts About Convergent Lady Beetle

  • The body shape of the convergent lady beetle is rounded, and elongate-oval and the average length can grow upto 7.8 mm (0.3 inch) long for females and 5.8 mm (0.23 inch) long for males.  The adult species can be recognized with the help of bright red or orange elytra (hardened forewings) that has 12 black spots with (6 on each elytron). The legs, head, and underside are black. 
  • The area behind the head is black with a white border along with two white and converging lines that give the name of the beetle insect, however, there are few beetle species that are less spotted or even spotless but the white lines that converge behind the head are common to all individuals. 
  • The female species lay a cluster of yellow eggs in batches of between 10 to 30 eggs on the stems or leaves of plants. The appearance of individual eggs is spindle-shaped which is between 1 to 1.5 mm long and it is between 1 to 1.5 mm and laid pointing upwards.
  • The larvae of the animal species are black with orange spots on the prothorax, however, the abdomen looks like a small alligator. There are four stages of Larvae development (egg, larva, pupa, and adult) in order to grow into more spotted with orange and can reach upto 7 mm (1/4 inch) before becoming a pupa. The shape of the pupa is hemispherical and comes in colors between orange and black.
  • These convergent lady beetles are also used for augmentative biological control to temporarily increase predator numbers to control aphids. This is the primary reason why species are commercially in North America.
  • These beetles can adjust their life cycle according to the availability of aphids. The resident population in the eastern United States is active throughout spring and summer if aphids are present.
  • The adult convergent lady beetle prey mainly on aphids. The reported prey include cotton, pea, melon, cabbage, potato, green peach, and corn leaf aphids. There are situations where aphids are scarce in that case, the beetle species will feed on mall insect larvae, insect eggs, mites, and, occasionally, nectar, and honeydew secreted by aphids and other sucking insects.
  • Convergent lady beetles are mostly seen in the Nearctic and Neotropical regions. It is a common species throughout the United States, ranging from New Jersey to Texas to California, however, it is also seen in Canada and South America.
  • There is very little information available about the mating systems but it is expected like other beetles they probably mate many times with many different mates. The avarage lifespan of a convergent lady beetle is between 4 to 7 weeks to develop from an egg to an adult. 
  • The mating system can be considered as polygynandrous (promiscuous) where they have two generations a year. One group of eggs are laid in the spring, while another generation of eggs are laid in the fall. Female species can enter reproductive diapause during periods of extreme temperatures and when not enough food is available.  This will help female species to wait out the harsh conditions and instead lay eggs when the environmental conditions are better for offspring.

These are the interesting facts about Convergent Lady Beetle. Kindly share and post your comments.

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