Saturday, July 25, 2015

American Eyespot Lady Beetle

Anatis mali (c) John Ashley
Lady beetles introduced form Asia are slowly replacing our native species. But this beautiful native, the American eyespot lady beetle (Anatis mali) is holding her own. Most lady beetles dine on aphids, and this one specializes in aphids that live in trees.

She's our largest native ladybug, featuring 18 or so black spots surrounded by beige rings. These spots are set against a background color that darkens with time, starting out yellowish and turning reddish-brown as she ages.

American eyespot lady beetles range across an east-west swath of North America from Alaska to Maine, dipping down across most of Montana.