Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Pink-spotted Ladybug

The pink-spotted ladybug, Coleomegilla maculata
Pink-spotted ladybugs are native to North America. They're common, but I don't see them very often; maybe they are good at hiding. This one was under a leaf.

They are flatter than most species of ladybugs and more elongated. They come in colors from pink to red. They have six spots on each wing cover, but two of those six are half circles mirrored on the other wing, so that when the wings close there seem to be ten spots on them. They have two black patches on the thorax (between the head and wings). Together, wing spots and thorax patches account for their other common name, the 12-spotted ladybug.

Look for them on plants where they forage for aphids, mites, and insect eggs. Unlike most ladybugs, they like to snack on pollen, and they are reported to be especially fond of dandelions.

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