The Four-spotted Spurleg Lady Beetle is native to North America. Two subspecies exist: Brachiacantha quadripunctata quadripunctata and Brachiacantha quadripunctata flavifrons. Both subspecies look very similar: black wing covers with four red spots (two near their pronotum and two at their rear). This species was found in Vermont in 2020 for the first time since 1976.
Not ranked in the United States or in Canada
The Four-spotted Spurleg Lady Beetle’s species name (quadripunctata) means “four-pointed”, referring to their four spots.
The Four-spotted Spurleg Lady Beetle is 2.5 to 4.4 mm in length. Four-spotted Spurleg Lady Beetles are dimorphic – males and females can be differentiated by distinctions on the head, pronotum and elytra.
- Female head: Black
- Female pronotum: Black.
- Female elytra: Black, with four red spots, two per elytron. Two spots are located close to the pronotum, nearly touching it. The other two spots are on the far end of the elytra. All spots are located towards the suture (where the wing covers close together). Elytra are coarsely punctured.
- Male head: White/ pale
- Male pronotum: Black, with a white/ pale margin along the front, near the head. This margin can be relatively thin or quite thick, protruding into the black patch.
- Male elytra: Same as female, with additional humeral spots (2 total, one per elytron. Located on the front outer corner of each elytron). The humeral spots may be so small they are barely distinguishable, or may be large and join with the other two frontal spots on the elytra to form two large red patches.
- Legs (both): Brownish-orange to yellow.
- Both sexes sometimes have yellow spots instead of red.
- Often confused with: other species of Spurleg Lady Beetle, Sigil Lady Beetles, and Twice-stabbed Lady Beetles.
Arboreal – usually recorded on trees or along forest edges. Has been collected on Maple trees infested with plant lice.
In Vermont, we have the subspecies Brachiacantha quadripunctata quadripunctata. Ranges of the two subspecies do not overlap.
- B. quadripunctata quadripunctata: North to Ontario and Quebec, east to the coast, south to Virginia and Tennessee, west to Iowa and Kansas.
- B. quadripunctata flavifrons: North Carolina to Florida, west to Alabama.
Likely aphids, scale insects, and other small insects. Larvae feed in ant nests.
One study found the highest capture rate of Four-spotted Spurleg Lady Beetles to be in May and June, with a second slight increase in the number found in the fall, before hibernation. Larvae have been found in ant nests, and seem to be associated with them. Little information is available on this species.
You can find more information about Four-spotted Spurleg Lady Beetles using the following links:
Visit the iNaturalist Observation Map and Occurrence Records to find out where Four-spotted Suprleg Lady Beetles have been seen in Vermont.