The Coccinellidae, or lady beetles, are mainly considered beneficial, with about 90% of the species feeding on primarily aphids, scale insects, whiteflies, mealy bugs, and mites (Iperti 1999). Thus, they are important biological control agents of such arthropod pests (Obrycki and Kring 1998). Other species of lady beetles feed on fungi or plants. Some of the species that feed on plants are considered pests.
There are approximately 6,000 species of Coccinellidae worldwide (Vandenberg 2002), and about 500 species in North America north of Mexico (Gordon 1985, Vandenberg 2002).
Regional lists of lady beetles:
Coccinellids in Decline?!?
Some species of coccinellids seem to be less abundant than they were previously in North America, including Coccinella novemnotata (ninespotted lady beetle), Coccinella transversoguttata richardsoni (transverse lady beetle), and Adalia bipunctata (twospotted lady beetle). If you find one of these 3 species in South Dakota or neighboring states, please let me know (WANTED POSTER - PDF). Populations of Hippodamia convergens (convergent lady beetle) have also declined in the northeastern United States. Sometimes, these species in decline are referred to as "Lost Lady Beetles."
The Lost Ladybug Project* was developed to search for declining species, and it relies heavily on citizen scientists to spot lady beetles throughout North America. Funding for the LLP has come from the National Science Foundation
The user-friendly address for this website is: /npa/coccinellidae
This site designed and maintained by Louis Hesler, North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory, USDA-ARS, 2923 Medary Avenue, Brookings, SD, USA, 57006. Phone +1 605-693-5228; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit this PDF link for a list of my interests and publications regarding the Coccinellidae.
* Denotes external link