Convergent Ladybug Beetle (Hippodamia convergens)

Convergent Ladybug Beetle (Hippodamia convergens)

The Convergent Ladybug Beetle, also called the Convergent Lady Beetle, (Hippodamia convergens) is a member of the Ladybug Beetles Family (Coccinellidae). This very useful insect is common around French Hill Pond. The genus name is from the name of a Roman princess. The species name and the common name comes from the habit of these beetles to gather together in great numbers on a support. The family name is from the Latin for "scarlet."

This insect is oval and from ¼ to ⅜ inches (6 to 8 millimeters) long. Their forewings (elytra) are orange with 13 black spots. The head and body are black with some white markings.

Their food is primarily aphids but they may also eat other small insects. They must eat aphids to reproduce. The female will lay as many as 300 eggs in groups of five to thirty eggs near aphid infestations in spring and early summer. The larvae are black with red spots and look like tiny alligators. A larva may consume up to fifty aphids in one day. An adult Convergent Ladybug Beetle may eat as many as twenty aphids per day. Therefore, this insect is very useful in the control of aphids. Convergent Ladybug Beetles can be ordered through the mail for use in flower and vegetable gardens to control aphids and other small insect pests.

In the fall, these beetles will seek a warm place in which to overwinter. They frequently seek shelter in houses where they will harmlessly hibernate. Occasionally, a Convergent Ladybug Beetle will harmlessly land or crawl onto people and animals. Some people will play with these insects. Given their usefulness and harmless nature, they should not be killed. 

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