Big ups to Asian Ladybugs! These beetles feeds on aphids at an unprecedented rate in the larvae stage, similar to the Lacewing. The Asian Ladybug live between two to three years. They are also known as the harlequin ladybird and Harmonia Axyridis.
Yes, these are not native to North America, but have been deliberately or accidentally introduced outside of Asia to control aphids. To some degree, that means goodbye to the native ladybug, Coccinella Septempunctata, in places like the UK and US.
… in 1988, a population of multicolored Asian lady beetles was found in Louisiana, north of New Orleans. These lady beetles spread quickly throughout the southern and eastern United States. No one knows whether their presence today is due to deliberate releases or accidental introductions. 1
This rise of the Asian Ladybug does bring with it a share of issues, too. Not only have allergies from Asian Ladybugs risen over the years, wineries have had issues as well, due to them being inadvertently crushed with the grapes.
Ladybugs produce a foul-smelling liquid that can be inadvertently processed along with grapes and taint the aroma and flavor of wine. Because of the potency of the compounds, even a slight amount can potentially affect a wine’s character… 2
How to identify
The Asian Ladybug can immediately be identified by looking for the M on the Pronoton (head and neck area). Or, you can think of it like a W for W O N D E R. They also can be identified as having around 19 spots on their wings.
Here is a specimen hanging out on a Cheiro Roxa pepper plant.
harmonia axyridis notes
- poise - 6/106/10
- beneficial - 7/107/10