COMMON NAME
Variable lady beetle
Order

Superfamily

Family

Genus

Species

Alias
Coleoptera



Coccinellidae



Coelophora inaequalis


Description

The patterns and colours of this lady beetle, as the name suggests, are highly variable. It may be striped with 4 small wing spots; or have black bars and a centre stripe or three full stripes along its body; or have splotches or small dots on the sides.

Adult size: 5 mm

Out and about

Most common in spring when their prey are plentiful

Reproduction and Life cycle

It is difficult to tell the males and females apart (without the aid of a microscope), although generally, the females are larger. Over spring and summer the female lays her eggs, usually ten to fifteen, on the underside of leaves. They are often laid amongst a ready food source, such as aphids and mites, for the larvae to feed on after they hatch. The larvae will grow for about ten days moulting and shedding their skins as they grow; then pupate emerging as an adult after a few days. When they first emerge they are soft and do not have any markings.

To deter

To control

Plants to repel

Plants to attract

Pollen- and nectar-bearing flowers Alfalfa / Alyssum / Angelica / Buckwheat / Calendula / Chives / Coriander / Cosmos / Dandelion / Dill / Fennel / Feverfew / Marigold (lemon gem) / Mustard / Oleander / Queen Anne’s lace / Statice / Tansy / Yarrow (yellow and white) / Yellow nasturtiums (seem to like yellow colours, but not orange)

Predators

Why they are Beneficial
This lady beetle eats aphids, mites and scale, and the adult will also feed on nectar.
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