Natural Enemies Gallery

Twicestabbed Lady Beetle

Hosts or Prey

Aphids, mealybugs, other soft-bodied insects, and especially scales

Identification

Adults (also called ladybugs or ladybird beetles) are shiny black with two red spots on the wing covers. Adults are about 1/5 inch (5 mm) long, dome shaped (convex) on top, flat on the bottom, and rounded when viewed from above.

Eggs are oblong, yellowish, and about 1/25 inch (1 mm) long. They are laid singly on plants near infestations of prey insects.

Larvae are active, elongate, and resemble tiny alligators. They are mostly blackish and gray with numerous, fleshy spines.

Pupa are oblong and blackish. They occur in the skin of the last instar, which is grayish, spiny, and splits down the center, exposing the pupa.

Lookalikes

There are several species of black lady beetles with two red spots on the wing covers. Lookalikes in California include Axion plagiatum, Chilocorus cacti, Chilocorus kuwanae, and the black and red form of Olla v-nigrum. Expert dissection and examination of male genitalia is required to authoritatively distinguish the species.

Life Cycle

Twicestabbed lady beetle develops through four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. It has several generations per year.

Habitat

Twicestabbed lady beetle is one of the most common scale-feeding lady beetles on trees and shrubs in California. Both adults and larvae prey mostly on scales.

Species

At least eight Chilocorus species occur in the United States. These include at least three Chilocorus species that closely resemble C. orbus.

More Information

Scientific classification:

  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Coleoptera
  • Family: Coccinellidae
Adult twicestabbed lady beetle, Chilocorus orbus, feeding on walnut scale, Diaspidiotus (=Quadraspidiotus) juglansregiae.
Adult twicestabbed lady beetle, Chilocorus orbus, feeding on walnut scale, Diaspidiotus (=Quadraspidiotus) juglansregiae. Credit: Jack Kelly Clark, UC IPM Program
Pupal case of twicestabbed lady beetle, Chilocorus orbus.
Pupal case of twicestabbed lady beetle, Chilocorus orbus. Credit: Jack Kelly Clark, UC IPM Program
Appearance and relative size of last instar and adult twicestabbed lady beetle, Chilocorus orbus.
Appearance and relative size of last instar and adult twicestabbed lady beetle, Chilocorus orbus. Credit: see large image