Transverse Lady Beetle By Christian Grenier

Transverse Lady Beetle © Ryan Sealy

Transverse Lady Beetle © Tom Murray

The Transverse Lady Beetle is native to North America. This species used to be very common, however it is now rare in the northeastern U.S. and beyond. Its wing covers are red or orange with a black band located behind the pronotum and two elongated black markings farther down. It feeds primarily on aphids and is most active from May to September.

Status

Native

Possibly Extirpated in New York, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick; Critically Imperiled in Ontario; Apparently Secure in Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Yukon, and the Northwest Territories; and Secure in British Columbia. In decline.

Last Seen

1976

Fun Fact

The Transverse Lady Beetle’s distribution used to be extensive in the northern hemisphere, including populations located in Greenland.

Identification

The Transverse Lady Beetle is 5 to 7.8 mm in length.

Habitat

Habitat generalist, occurring in agricultural crops, gardens, parks, forests (coniferous and deciduous), meadows, prairies, and riparian zones. Historically, the Transverse Lady Beetle was one of the most abundant species found in agricultural crops, particularly alfalfa. Also, this species has historically been found in high populations in early-establishment stages of plantations, favoring early-successional areas and edges. They have been associated with clover, lupine, and willows.

General Range

There are 5 subspecies of the Transverse Lady Beetle, 4 of which occur in the Western Hemisphere. Only one subspecies, Coccinella transversoguttata richardsoni, occurs north of Mexico and is widely distributed across the United States and Canada.

Food

Aphids, likely other small, soft-bodied insects, scale insects, mites, insect eggs, pollen, and nectar.

Life History

Development from egg to adult takes from 25 to 40 days, depending on food, temperature, and photoperiod. Females seem to lay an average of 267 eggs over the course of 14 days, based on a laboratory study. It is likely that Transverse Lady Beetles have 2 to 3 generations per year in northern climates.

More Information

You can find more information about Transverse Lady Beetles using the following links:

Vermont Distribution

Visit the iNaturalist Observation Map and Occurrence Records to find out where Transverse Lady Beetles have been seen in Vermont.