Hudsonian Ladybird © Alex Wenninger

The Hudsonian Ladybird is an important predator of aphids in spruce-fir forests, particularly the Balsam Twig Aphid. The species is orangish-red to brown in color, with a pattern on its wing covers that looks like two percent signs separated by a centerline.

Status

Native

Global Status: Secure

Last Seen

1968

Fun Fact

The Hudsonian Ladybird was named after the Hudson Bay, and both plays dead and “reflex bleeds” (exude a noxious fluid) as defense mechanisms.

Identification

The Hudsonian Ladybird is 3 to 5 mm in length.

Habitat

Conifer or mixed forests. May have a preference for spruce-fir forests, particularly the lower canopy.

General Range

In the north, the Hudsonian Ladybird’s range is transcontinental, from Alaska to Newfoundland, south to the Great Lakes through northern Georgia.

Food

Consumes aphids that are associated with conifers, such as the Balsam Twig Aphid. Will eat other aphids and scale insects associated with conifers, along with pollen and honeydew.

Life Cycle

In the northern parts of their range, Hudsonian Ladybirds have one generation per year. Overwintering adults emerge in the beginning of May, and breeding occurs from mid-May to mid-June. Egg laying begins around eight days after mating commences, and eggs are laid over a period of around 20 days. Eggs hatch from mid-June to mid-July. Larvae develop through their four instar phases over a period of around 18 days, then pupate for around eight days. Adults emerge between mid-July and early August. Hudsonian Ladybirds do not seem to migrate, and likely overwinter on the forest floor. They closely synchronize their life cycle with their prey.

More Information

You can find more information about Hudsonian Ladybirds using the following links:

Vermont Distribution

Visit the iNaturalist Observation Map and Observation Records to find out where Hudsonian Ladybirds have been seen in Vermont.