Q: I found a black ladybug and it has two red spots on it

Q: I found a black ladybug and it has two red spots on it. I have never seen one like it before. Is it rare?

A: It is not rare but a wonderful treat for you to find it feeding on your palm tree fronds. It is called a Two-stabbed ladybird beetle, Chilocorus stigma. They love to feed on scale and aphids. The term ladybird is a name used in England for more than 600 years for the European beetle Coccinella septempunctata. As knowledge about insects increased, the name became extended to all its relatives, members of the beetle family Coccinellidae. Of course, these insects are not birds, just as butterflies are not flies. The lady for whom they were named was “the Virgin Mary,” and common names in other European languages have the same association (the German name Marienkafer translates to “Marybeetle” or ladybeetle). Like most beneficial insects, C. stigma is susceptible to broad-spectrum insecticides. Using alternative control treatments such as dormant or horticultural oils may be less harmful to the lady beetles. Attached is a publication on several other ladybird beetles. Look over the different life cycles of this important insect as you may start to recognize other forms of this insect and they should be protected too. The larval stage of the ladybird beetle is also an important predator of harmful insects. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in327

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Nassau County Master Gardener Volunteer Posting for County Extension Director and Horticulture Agent IV Rebecca Jordi.


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Insect Conservation Biology

Adalia bipunctata, Two-Spotted Lady Beetle

Adalia bipunctata, the two-spotted lady beetle (or two-spot), has quite a wide range. It is native to both North America and Europe, and can still be found throughout both. It is actually still very common in western Europe. However, even though is not currently listed as endangered or threatened, its range in North America seems to be narrowing. Our greatest fear is that it’s declining along with Coccinella novemnotata (C-9, the nine-spotted lady beetle) because of the same factors, and that it, too will soon disappear from large areas of its former range.

The two-spot is one of about 450 lady beetles (Coccinellidae) that occur in the US. It is one of the more recognizable species, with adults being dome shaped and about 4-5mm long. Typically, its pronotum is black and white and its abdomen is orange-red with 2 prominent black spots, one on each elytra (hence its name). However, there is a melanic polymorphism in the two-spot, and there also exists a black form with four or six red spots on it, and other intermediate, rare forms. Larvae are grayish black with yellow and white markings, and look a lot like tiny alligators. They emerge in early to mid-spring, and take a little less than a month to mature into adults, then live for 1 or 2 years.

The diet of larval and adult two-spots is the same. They are carnivorous and eat soft-bodied insects. The two-spot’s main prey item is aphids, though they will also eat other soft-bodied hemipterans such as scale insects and mealybugs. They also feed on mites and insect eggs, and will resort to cannibalism as well. Thus, two-spots are valuable to us because their prey are detrimental, feeding on our agricultural crops. Lady beetles are one of the most publicly recognized and revered insects, so they also help with conservation. Endangered or threatened lady beetles are flagship species — people want to save them because they like them, and so other organisms in their environment will be protected, too.

The two-spot can be found in a variety of habitat — meadows, fields, gardens, forests, etc. They will live in nearly any vegetation so long as there is a food source. So why might they be declining? We have a few ideas. Land is being converted from agricultural use to forested areas, which may have caused a decline in the two-spot’s prey, or made it harder for females to find prey aggregations, thus lowering the number of oviposition sites. As with C-9, two-spots may be declining due to other species of lady beetles living in their range and either cannibalizing them or using up their resources. As several studies suggest, poor prey quality can lower prey searching behavior and fecundity. Parasites, parasitoids, pathogens, increased cannibalism, use of insecticides and transgenic crops, and hybridization with other species may also be lowering the two-spot’s population density in certain areas.

The number one way to help the two-spot, as is often the case, is to gain more information about its condition and spread this knowledge publicly. Before we can try to ensure that this species does not disappear from its range, we must find out exactly why it is declining. So, we should look into the above listed possibilities for decline, and either rule them out or prove them to be occurring. Using “citizen science” can help; a national survey done by regular citizens can amass invaluable data. Conservation efforts are in their beginning stages, and we will hopefully learn what is affecting this lovely insect’s populations before its range does shrink drastically.


10 Red and Black Bugs You Can Find in Your Garden

When you’re a small bug in a big world, you’ll use every trick in the book to avoid being eaten. Many insects use bright colors to warn predators to avoid them. If you spend even a short time observing the insects in your backyard, you’ll quickly notice red and black bugs are abundant.

While lady beetles are probably the best known red and black bugs, there are hundreds of red and black true bugs (Hemiptera), and many share similar markings that make them tough to identify. The 10 red and black bugs in this list represent some of the true bugs that gardeners and naturalists might encounter and wish to identify. Some are beneficial predators, like assassin bugs, while others are plant pests that might warrant control measures.

Cotton Stainer Bug

The cotton stainer, Dysdercus suturellus, is a pretty bug that does ugly damage to certain plants, including cotton. Both adults and nymphs feed on the seeds in cotton bolls and stain the cotton an undesirable brownish-yellow in the process. Before the advent of chemical controls for this crop pest, the cotton stainer caused serious economic damage to the industry.

Unfortunately, the cotton stainer doesn’t limit its attention to cotton plants. This red bug (that’s the actual name for the family, Pyrrhocoridae) damages everything from oranges to hibiscus. Its U.S. range is limited to mainly to southern Florida.

Two-Spotted Stink Bug

Louis Tedders / USDA Agricultural Research Service / Bugwood.org

Stink bugs are also true bugs, and can usually be recognized by their characteristic shape. Like all true bugs, stink bugs have mouthparts designed for piercing and sucking their food. What they eat, however, varies a great deal. Some stink bugs are plant pests, while others are predators of other insects and therefore considered beneficial.

One of the more striking species of stink bugs, the two-spotted stink bug (Perillus bioculatus) is identified by its bold and distinctive markings. The two-spotted stink bug isn’t always red and black, but even in its less brilliant color forms, it can be identified by the presence of two spots just behind the head. The species is also called the common name double-eyed soldier bug, and the scientific name bioculatus actually means two eyes.

Two-spotted stink bugs are among the beneficial predators in the family Pentatomidae. Although a generalist feeder, the two-spotted stink bug has a known preference for eating Colorado potato beetles.


Aphody two-spotted — what a strange creation of nature?

Two-spotted aphody belongs to the family Lamellae, the order Coleoptera.

Two-spotted aphody is a rather large beetle with a flattened body 0.8-1.2 cm long. Elytra smooth, shiny, red, each decorated with a rounded black spot.

Pronotum almost without dots on the sides with a red border. The head is black with a light platband along the front edge. Scutellum, pronotum disk, black underparts, abdomen, calf, legs — red. Clypeus semicircular, very large, prominent preorbital lobes have the appearance of right angles. Pronotum base without border. The shield is small.

Two-spotted aphody (Aphodius bimaculatus).

The tarsi of the middle and hind legs are almost the same length with the tibiae; they have short and long setae on top. The male, in comparison with the female, has a pronotum with a flattened shape, with weak dashed lines.

The beetle larva is easily distinguished from similar species by a convex clypeus with tubercles and by a light brown coloration of the head with 4 small dark spots in the center of the forehead.

Aphodia spread

Two-spotted aphody is found in Germany, Austria, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. Perhaps found in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and France. In Russia, a rare beetle is known in the west of the Kaliningrad, Yaroslavl, Leningrad regions, in the south to Ciscaucasia, Astrakhan region, in the east to Altai and Krasnoyarsk territories.

Two-spotted aphody is one of many insects that live and develop in the litter.

Two-spotted aphody habitats

Two-spotted aphody prefers open steppe spaces: meadows, pastures near livestock farms. Two-spotted aphody is fed with fresh horse and cow droppings.

The development of aphody of two-spotted

Two-spotted aphody females lay their eggs in a fresh litter, or bury them in the soil nearby. Larvae of several months develop, eating manure. Departure of adult beetles occurs in May — June, less often in July — August. Insects lead an active lifestyle, sometimes fly to the light at night. The two-spotted aphody cycle is 1–2 years.

Two-spotted Aphodius is most common in Europe.

The number of two-spotted aphodia

The habitat of the two-spotted aphody is decreasing everywhere. Beetles are rare, in many places where they were ordinary insects, are now hardly found. Only in the Volgograd region the number is quite high. Dead beetles were found in large numbers in the brine of the salt lakes Baskunchak and Elton.

Reasons for the decrease in the number of two-spotted aphody

Across the entire distribution area of ​​the two-spotted aphody, a rare beetle dies. Perhaps this is due to increased anthropogenic impact in the habitats of the species. There is an assumption that the decrease in the number of aphodia is associated with the widespread use of pesticides in agriculture. However, such an impact is unlikely, since pastures and undeveloped steppe areas where the two-spotted aphody lives, are not treated to the same extent with toxic chemicals.

Aphodia does not dig manure into the ground and does not roll balls out of it, as other dung beetles do, but lay eggs in it.

Mostly harmful substances accumulate when processing vegetation against pests, most often Asian locusts. But the destruction of orthopteran insects is carried out in the eastern and southern parts of the range of aphody two-spotted. The disappearance was noted in the western regions, where pesticides on pastures were not used at all, however, it is in these places that the beetle is extremely rare. The catastrophic decrease in the number of rare insects is probably due to a sharp reduction in the number of horses and the lack of food supply.

It is horse manure that is a favorable environment for the development of two-spotted aphodia larvae in comparison with cattle manure. Currently, the main vehicle is automobiles, and in agriculture all processes are mechanized. Horses, as a vehicle and draft power have not been used since the last century.

In recent decades, there has been a sharp decrease in the number of two-spotted aphodia.

In the world, the number of horses decreased by almost 2 times, especially the number of horses in Eastern and Western Europe decreased sharply. Similar changes occurred in Russia during this period, where the number of ungulates decreased by 3 times. This trend is typical for most European countries. In addition, cattle are more economical to maintain on farms without walking, so the number of pastures has decreased. Beetles were left without their main food — manure, and this affected the state of the two-spotted aphody populations.

Two-spotted aphody is listed in the Red Book of Russia, the second category, a species that is declining in number.

Conservation Measures Aphody Two-Spotted

In order to preserve the two-spotted aphody, it is necessary to find the remaining habitats of a rare species that are still not affected by economic activity. It is recommended that entomological specially protected natural areas be organized in the surveyed areas to restore the two-spotted aphody.


Swarming leaf beetles

Description of adult

Swarming leaf beetles (Rhyparida spp.) are small (3-5 mm), shiny, brown or black insects that swarm after the first heavy rains of the season. A number of species are involved but they all have similar habits.

Eggs are laid in the soil and hatch into small larvae similar in shape to white grubs.

The larvae feed on the roots of grasses for some months before pupating. Heavy rain allows emergence of the beetles from the soil.

Found in all districts but more common in north Queensland.

The wide host range includes commercial crops such as avocado, lychee, rambutan, durian, mangosteen and other rare fruits, maize, sugarcane, various ornamentals, native trees, especially cadaghi (Eucalyptus torelliana) and lemon-scented gum (Eucalyptus citriodora), and pasture species.

Major and sporadic. A serious pest in some localities, particularly where orchards are adjacent to pastures or sugarcane or in wet tropical coastal areas.

This insect causes damage to chempedak, cocoa, durian, grumichama, jaboticaba, jackfruit, longan, marang, mangosteen and rambutan. Swarms of this insect can cause severe damage to the new terminal growth on a range of crops. Damaged terminals have a burnt look. Development in young trees can be severely retarded. Occasionally developing fruits are attacked.

These beetles can be difficult to detect as they hide under leaves during the day, coming out to feed at night. Shake branches over a bucket when trees start to flush in spring. If several beetles are recovered, action is warranted. In areas where attacks occur yearly, protect new growth on young trees as early as possible. Older bearing trees can normally tolerate damage.


Beetle swarms generally occur during the spring to summer period after the first storms of the season. Cadaghi (Eucalyptus torelliana) is a favoured host and control of beetle swarms on this tree is sometimes possible before they invade orchards.


Apply an insecticide treatment as soon as swarms invade the orchard. Repeat treatments may be necessary if reinfestation occurs.

Chemical registrations and permits

Check the Australian Pesticides & Veterinary Medicines Authority chemical database and permit database for chemicals registered or approved under permit to treat this pest on the target crop in your State/location. Always read the label. Always observe withholding periods.


What insects of the Red Book of Russia need protection

Insects are the most numerous species of livingcreatures. They are omnipresent and settled all over the globe. More than a million species of insects have now been described and studied. But according to scientists, there are many more. The process of evolution involves a constant change in the number of individual species. Some of them disappear, others are increasingly spreading. But over the past 200 years, a person has intervened in this process. His economic activities lead to the fact that many species that are useful in evolutionary way disappear or become rare. Insects of the Red Book are those that need protection. They are forbidden to be exterminated and caught. This document was created precisely so that rare species are preserved on Earth.

Why do insects die out?

These representatives of the terrestrial fauna of many peoplecause disgust and fear. Therefore, they are subconsciously determined to destroy insects. They are dying out and because of changing living conditions, for example, climate. The plowing of steppes and meadows, the use of insect habitats for pastures, the growth of cities and the use of machinery are also factors that lead to a reduction in their numbers. Most species are very sensitive to variousdiseases and changes in air composition. And water insects are dying out because of pollution of rivers and lakes. Scientists only managed to draw public attention to this problem a few decades ago. And in the 70 years of the 20th century insects listed in the Red Book began to be protected. But by this time many species have irretrievably disappeared from the face of the Earth.

Insects listed in the Red Book

At the beginning of the 20th century people started talking about problemsdisappearance of some species. But only by the end of the century, species that needed protection were described in detail. In Russia there are about 100 of them. Basically, these are medium and large beetles and butterflies, many of them very beautiful, exterminated by man for collections. What are insects of the Red Book? It:

  • the scout-emperor;
  • a ground beetle from the Caucasus;

  • odorous beauty;
  • black horn;
  • relict lumberjack;
  • Alpine barbel;
  • bee carpenter;
  • the Mongolian bear;
  • wild silkworm;
  • stag beetle;
  • butterfly of mnemon;
  • bronzovka smooth and Caucasian;
  • aphids are two-spotted;
  • hermit Far Eastern and many others.

The most interesting insects of the Red Book

  1. A rare species from the order of the Orthoptera is called the steppe dike. It is distributed locally in the steppe zone of the south of Europe and Siberia. But because of plowing of virgin lands and increasing the number of livestock, it disappears there.
  2. A large beautiful butterfly — Apollo — is under threat of extinction. The reduction in the number of species is also affected by the fact that they are caught for collections.
  3. The deer beetle is a very beautiful large insect. This species is greatly reduced, most likely due to the decrease in the area of ​​forests — the places of its residence.
  4. The night peacock eye is the largest butterfly in Russia. The span of its wings is 15 centimeters. It is now very rare in the south of the Caucasus or the Black Sea coast.
  5. Under the threat of extinction is a very interesting butterfly — the wavy clan. She has narrow long wings and a beautiful light brown color.
  6. Almost disappeared already and recently there is an extremely unattractive beetle — the clicker of Parreis.
  7. Single specimens are sometimes found in a beautiful heavenly barbel. He has a long mustache and unusual color.

What actions are taken to protect them?

Many insects of the Red Book of Russia do notharm the person, and even bring benefit. Some of them are very beautiful. And ordinary ordinary moths and beetles also need protection. It is necessary that the diversity of species is preserved. Insects of the Red Book are protected by a special law. What does he prescribe? According to the regulations:

  • The economic activity leading to the disappearance of rare species is prohibited;
  • It is impossible to reduce or deteriorate their habitat;
  • administrative liability is provided for the capture and extermination of rare insects;
  • mini-reserves and micro-sanctuaries are created in habitats of rare species.

Insects listed in the Red Book of Russia,are under protection. The number of some species is gradually restored, while others are found in single specimens. To ensure that these insects do not disappear completely, everyone should participate in their conservation: do not catch butterflies and beetles, do not trample on grass, do not use chemicals in the fields, in general, take care of nature.


Aphody two-spotted — a rare Red Book beetle

Suppliers of Bio Control Agents

The suppliers listed below will help you to incorporate beneficial insects and mites or nematodes into an IPM program suitable for your crop and situation.
Many suppliers also provide crop monitoring services.

Biological Services Loxton SA BioResources Pty Ltd Samford Qld BioWorks Pty Ltd Nambucca Heads NSW Bugs for Bugs Mundubbera Qld EcoGrow Environment Westgate NSW

New Zealand Suppliers

BioForce Ltd Drury, New Zealand Zonda Beneficials Drury, New Zealand

Phone: (08) 8584 6977

Fax: (08) 8584 5057

Contact: James Altmann

Aphidius and Aphelinus for aphids

Encarsia for greenhouse white fly

Hypoaspis for fungus gnats

Rove beetles for fungus gnats

Typhlodromus for twospotted mite

Nesidiocoris tenuis for whitefly, moth eggs/larva

Orius armatus (minute pirate bug) for thrips

Samford Qld 4520

Phone: 0427 969 408

Contact: Richard Llewellyn


Anastatus for fruit spotting bugs

Green Lacewing Adults

Trissolcus for Green Vegie Bugs

Nambucca Heads NSW 2448

Phone: (02) 6568 3555

Mobile 0428 683 555

Contact: Matthew Parker


Hypoaspis for fungus gnats

Mundubbera Qld 4626

Phone: (07 4165 4663

Fax: (07) 4165 4626

Contact: Dan Papacek


Chilocorus beetles for various scale insects

Green lacewings for aphids and others

Trichogramma carverae for LBAM and codling moth

Trichogramma pretiosum for heliothis, loopers & DBM

Eretmocerus for silverleaf whitefly

Spalangia for nuisance flies

Eretmocerus for silverleaf whitefly

Address: P.O. BOX 241

Westgate NSW 2048

Ph: 02 6284 3844

Fax: 02 6284 3866

Contact: Craig Wilson


African black beetles and others

New Zealand Suppliers

Drury 2247 New Zealand

Phone: (64) 9 294 8973

Fax: (64) 9 294 8978

Contact: John Thompson


Bombus — pollinator NZ only

Encarsia for greenhouse white fly

Hypoaspis for fungus gnats

Persimilis for twospotted mite

Orius vicinus for psylids

Dusky Ladybird for psylids

Zonda Beneficials


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