Thursday, October 29, 2009

V-Marked Lady Beetle

This lovely dark red ladybug is the V-Marked Lady Beetle (Neoharmonia venusta venusta). They are solid red with black markings. At the midline of their wings is a distinctive "V" shaped black marking from where they get their common name. This species has no white on it. They are a bit on the large size for a ladybug, measuring up to 3/8 of an inch. Unlike other species of ladybugs that typically feed on aphids or other soft bodied insects, this species feeds on beetle larvae, especially the larvae of the Cottonwood Leaf Beetle (Sometimes called Willow Leaf Beetle). The one pictured here was photographed at Elrod Mill CA in NWMO. It was the only individual present, but there were a lot of larvae of this species on the various river willow plants. It wasn't long before I spotted a Cottonwood Leaf Beetle. It seems they will choose habitats that are consistent with where their common prey would live. Look for them near rivers, streams and any areas where cottonwood or willow trees are plentiful.

V-Marked Lady Beetle Pupa

These little black alligator looking creatures are the larvae to the V-Marked Lady Beetle. They were in large supply near the river.

I am constantly amazed at the many different species of ladybugs that there actually are. I spent the whole summer on the lookout for new, or previously un-spotted species. I was not disappointed, I found many I had never seen before. I will try to post some of them over the next few weeks. Very little information was available about this particular species. I am not sure how far their range goes, although I did find information that claimed they are now quite plentiful in southern Canada, having expanded their range further north. They are without a doubt one of the prettier species of ladybugs I've ever seen. Their food choice can only make them beneficial, as cottonwood leaf beetles can cause damage to trees.



  1. Shelly thanks for stopping by today! I am interested in the ladybugs. We have of course had the imposters, Asian beetles. We never see a real ladybug anymore and it makes me sad. This is a beautiful ladybug, I enjoyed this post and am hoping to still see the real thing! I will look forward to your posts pf other species.

  2. I am interested in ladybugs as well. They are such wonderful little bugs. I found around 10-12 species this year. It was such fun looking for them. I send my images to Cornell for their Lost Ladybug Project. Stay tuned for the next species...

  3. It was a first for me Moe. I looked all over the area where I found it and still could not locate another one. I did found several pupae and larvae though.

  4. I have never knowingly seen this ladybug before either. Fantastic that you were able to include photos of all three primary life stages.

  5. It truly was a beautiful species. I assume native as well. I wasn't able to find much info on them. I lucked out finding all the life stages.