What is the Japanese Lady Beetle

by April Reinhardt
(last updated June 23, 2009)

Many people confuse ladybugs with the Japanese lady beetle, since they are so similar in appearance. Both insects come from the same family of beetles known as Coccinellidae, with over five thousand known species. In North American, the Japanese lady beetle is called the Asian lady beetle, but in other parts of the world it is known as the Harlequin, Multivariate, Japanese, Pumpkin, or Southern ladybird, the Multicolored Asian lady beetle, and the Halloween lady beetle. While its distant cousin, the ladybug, is known as the ladybird, ladybug, lady beetle, ladyclock, lady cow, and lady fly.

Let's make this a little easier by listing the differences between a ladybug and a Japanese lady beetle:

Color

  • Japanese lady beetles come in three varieties of color, all with spots on their dome in specific quantity and patterns: orange or red dome with black spots; black dome with four red spots; black dome with two red spots. The Japanese lady beetle is further distinguished from the ladybug with its white M- or W-shaped marking on its head.
  • Ladybugs typically have domes of scarlet red, various hues of yellow, or varying shades of orange, all with tiny black spots. The ladybug has a shiny black head, sometimes marked by two tiny white spots. However, some species are entirely or mostly brown, gray, or black.

Size

  • Japanese lady beetles typically grow to 8mm long, with its dome being more convex than the ladybug.
  • Ladybugs can be anywhere from 1mm to 10mm long, with smaller domes than the Japanese lady beetle.

Japanese lady beetles are not native to the United States. The USDA introduced and released them into the country in the late 70's and early 80's as a biological control measure, but the measure failed. Yet, in 1988, the Japanese lady beetle arrived in the US on an Asian freighter and decided to stay. The insect has grown in population since then, making a positive impact by helping to control the destructive aphid population in tree farms.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

MORE FROM APRIL

Treating Third-degree Burns

You can offer first aid to a victim of third-degree burns while you are waiting for help to arrive. Third-degree burns ...

Discover More

Energy-Efficient Appliances

While you might be somewhat hesitant to buy energy-efficient appliances because they cost more than lower efficiency ...

Discover More

Installing a Pocket Door

Although pocket door kits include most of the hardware you will need to install your door, you may need to buy a handle. ...

Discover More

Keep Mice Away! Rodent Defense Mice Repellent is a must-have tool for eliminating or preventing mice. All-natural ingredients are nontoxic and can be used safely around children and pets. Create a barrier to mice around your home! Check out Rodent Defense Mice Repellent today!

More Pest Tips

Ridding Your Home of Termites

Termites look like little white ants. Don't be fooled, they can cause enough damage to make a house unlivable.

Discover More

Ridding Your Home of Silverfish

The best way to rid your home of silverfish is to create a non-friendly environment for them to live in. Keep your home ...

Discover More

Knowing If You Have Bedbugs

Since bedbugs congregate and feed at night, and if you have a house pet, wait until the pet is asleep and see if you can ...

Discover More
Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 + 1?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)