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

Cleaning a Bathroom Sink

Because of its proximity and convenient water source, a bathroom sink most times becomes a receptacle for the leftover ...

Discover More

Creating a French Twist

A favored style by those with long hair, the French twist is versatile and appropriate for formal and informal occasions. ...

Discover More

Managing the Japanese Lady Beetle

Whether you call them lady bugs or lady beetles, you can tell them apart from other insects by their colored, spotted ...

Discover More

Best Product Available! DuPont's Advion is a new, high-performing bait targeting all species of cockroaches. Cockroaches cannot resist the superior ingredients in this bait and even the toughest populations are quickly controlled. You get speed and spectrum all in a single product! Check out Advion Syngenta Cockroach Gel Bait today!

More Pest Tips

What are Earwigs?

Earwigs use their tail forceps for opening narrow spaces so that they can gain entry, capturing prey such as small ...

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

Eliminating Earwigs

Follow the tips within this article to eliminate earwigs from your home. If you find that you have a large infestation, ...

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}] 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 four more than 0?

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