Lady beetles belong to the family Coccinellidae in the insect order Coleoptera. There are five subfamilies in this family, and four of them are what we think of as traditional lady beetles that eat other insects. For a more information on the varieties of Coccinellidae in Hawaii click on this link:
Adult lady beetles are all oval in shape, and the outer pair of wings is hardened, dome-like and shiny. They have six legs. There is a huge amount of difference in coloration and markings among species. Lady beetles live for two to three years in the wild.
Click on this link for a description of lady beetles and to read and see photos of lady beetles’ life cycle. https://extensionentomology.tamu.edu/insect/lady-beetle/
All lady beetles eat insects, as well as nectar and pollen, making them beneficial insects. They consume a broad diversity of prey, including aphids, scale, mites, mealybugs, small caterpillars, insect eggs and pupae, white flies, mites, and psyllids. One lady beetle can eat up to 5,000 insects in its lifetime.
When it comes to the lady beetle being eaten, the beetles will secrete an oily, foul-tasting fluid from joints in their legs. They may also play dead. Birds are lady beetles’ main predators, but they also fall victim to frogs, wasps, spiders, and dragonflies.
There are 15 varieties of ladybeetles found in Hawaii. Click on this link for photos of each variety of lady beetle found in Hawaii:
Where can I get beneficial insects for my garden: https://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/uhmg/faq/faq-where-beneficials.asp
Researchers studying a decline in native ladybugs in the United States and Canada theorize that the population reduction may be due to the introduction of non-native species, climate change, land-use changes, disease, or shifts in the availability of prey. In an effort to track ladybug populations, entomologists at Cornell University created the Lost Ladybug Project, a citizen-based effort to spot, photograph, and report on ladybugs across North America.
Not All Lady Beetles are Created Equal: Learn about different Types of Lady Beetles in Hawaii with Special Talent https://gms.ctahr.hawaii.edu/gs/handler/getmedia.ashx?moid=70568&dt=3&g=12
5.21.23-LDF / JRS