Convergent Lady Beetle
( Hippodamia convergens )


2009-0606-43000001-COL01307-Hippodamia_convergens[1303h44s,F,A,parasitized]{EXD}-G.jpg

PHOTO COMMENT

IDENTIFICATION
Identification:Hippodamia convergens
(Guérin-Méneville, 1842)
Common Name:Convergent Lady Beetle
Life Stage:(A) adult

PHYLOGENY

Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Superorder:Holometabola
Order:Coleoptera
Suborder:Polyphaga
Family:Coccinellidae
Subfamily:Coccinellinae
Genus:Hippodamia
Taxon Code:COL01307
ITIS TSN#:114331

LOCATION DETAILS
Location
Horsethief Canyon, Horsethief Canyon, Unincorporated Santa Clara Co
County:Santa Clara County
ECI Site#:CA43000001

RECOGNITION
H. convergens adults are flatter and more elongate than other Bay Area lady beetles. The pronotum is black with white borders on the forward and lateral margins and always bears a pair of white, longitudinal lines that converge posteriorly. Elytra are red to pale orange with a shortened white border where the elytra attach. Typically, there are 13 black spots, but spots may be merged or absent. The head is black with a transverse white stripe. Legs are black. Antennae are pale brown with a dark brown club.
Body Length
4-7 mm.

BIOLOGY
Food
Both larval and adult stages prey on aphids and other soft bodied insects on plants. They will sometimes consume pollen. If no other prey is present they may cannibalize other eggs and larvae. Their first meal is the egg shell, then sometimes an unhatched egg or larval sibling. They can adjust their life cycle according to the availability of aphids.
Habitat
H. covergens is found wherever aphids are present, in meadows, fields, agricultural crops, gardens, parks, and forests. They are frequently found in “ladybird wash-ups” on the beach and sometimes cluster in pinecones and log piles throughout the state.
Active Period
Spring and summer into the autumn in warmer areas.
Development
Adults overwinter in masses in areas protected by trees or other land features. Females lay clusters of small, pale yellow, football-shaped eggs. Eggs are affixed where there are abundant aphids, but also on other substrates. Eggs hatch in about a week. Emerging larvae resemble tiny alligators. They consume their egg shells, then start to consume aphids. There are four instars. Mature larvae anchor to plants or other substrates, and flex if disturbed. Pupation lasts from a few days to more than a week. Eclosing adults are very pale with no visible markings, and darken over a few hours.
Importance
H. convergens is used commercially for biological control in gardens and agriculture. They are effective predators in both adult and larval stages.
Range
Common and widespread in North America, south to South America.

HABITAT
H. covergens is found wherever aphids are present, in meadows, fields, agricultural crops, gardens, parks, and forests. They are frequently found in “ladybird wash-ups” on the beach and sometimes cluster in pinecones and log piles throughout the state.

CREDITS
Photographer
Eddie Dunbar

REFERENCES
  • Species Hippodamia convergens - Convergent Lady Beetle. (http://bugguide.net/node/view/8374). Accessed January 31, 2016. [ IMAGES ]
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System TSN#114331
  • Convergent lady beetle. Scientific name: Hippodamia convergens. Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California. 2014 Regents of the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. (http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/NE/convergent_lady_beetle.html). Accessed February 1, 2016.
  • Convergent Lady Beetle - Hippodamia convergens. (http://www.biokids.umich.edu/critters/Hippodamia_convergens/). Accessed February 1, 2016.


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