The Ursine Spurleg Lady Beetle is also known as the Orange-spotted Lady Beetle, aptly named for their characteristic orange spots. This species is native to North America and is often found near milkweed plants. It is most often seen from May to July.
The Ursine Spurleg Lady Beetle is listed as Apparently Secure in New Brunswick, Ontario, and Saskatchewan; Secure in Nova Scotia; and Vulnerable in Manitoba. No status has been determined federally or within individual states in the United States.
At least one peer-reviewed article states that this species is in decline. Declines have been attributed to the introduction of non-native lady beetle species. It is unknown how much of this decline is directly caused by non-native lady beetle introductions, how much is caused by habitat loss, or if the combination of these factors is causing decline.
“Ursina” in its scientific name means “resembling a bear”.
The Ursine Spurleg Lady Beetle is 3 to 4.5 mm in length.
- Each wing cover (elytron) has 5 yellow to yellow orange spots. Wing covers (elytra) are finely punctured (looks pitted, like they were pricked with a pin).
- The legs are light yellow to orange-brown in color.
- The head has a central yellow to yellow orange trapezoidal spot in the middle. On males, the portion of the head just above the mouth may be slightly darker or brown.
- Males have a black pronotum, with a yellow to yellow-orange spot on the outer front regions (near the head) of the pronotum (called anterolateral angles), which extends across the front of the pronotum (anterior margin). Females only have yellow to yellow-orange spots on the outer frontal regions of the pronotum, the rest of the pronotum is entirely black.
- Ursine Spurleg Lady Beetles are commonly confused with other members of their genus, Brachiacantha.
Often associated with milkweed. Appears to utilize deciduous forest and crops or successional fields near deciduous forests as habitat.
Found across the eastern and midwestern U.S., ranging north to Newfoundland and Saskatchewan and south to South Carolina and Arkansas.
The Ursine Spurleg Lady Beetle larvae prey on scale insects and aphids in ant nests. Adults have been found to be associated with tree scale insects, presumably preying on the scale insects. However, not much is known about this species’ phenology.
Can be found March through October, with the highest occurrence rate appearing to be in June. Nymphs live below ground and are associated with ants.
You can find more information about Ursine Spurleg Lady Beetles using the following links:
Visit the iNaturalist Observation Map and Observation Records to find out where Ursine Spurleg Lady Beetles have been seen in Vermont.