T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Labybird (Large spotted) Harmonia conformis

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Class: Insecta
Subclass: Pterygota
Order: Coleoptera
Suborder: Polyphaga
Superfamily: Coccinelloidea
Family: Coccinellidae
Subfamily Coccinellinae
Genus: Harmonia
Species: H. conformis
Binomial name: Harmonia conformis
Common name: Large spotted ladybird.

Harmonia conformis is a large ladybug about 6-8mm long and is round to oval and domes shaped. It has a light reddish appearance and its colouration includes 20 large black spots, 18 of which are found on the elytra (wing covers).
Harmonia conformis is not a pest species and was introduced to as a bio-control agent from Australia. It is a predator of aphids, scale insects and mites. Both ladybird adults and larvae are predators and both can be found on the same plant feeding on the eggs, larvae and adults of the prey. The adults also consume flower nectar, water and the honeydew from aphids.
During spring and through summer adult females lay their yellow eggs in groups of 5 to 30 on a plant near their prey. A female may lay 200 to 1000 eggs over this 1-2 month period. The eggs usually hatch within 4 days and the larvae feed for 2-3 weeks before they pupate. 
The larvae have appendages called prolegs. Each proleg has curved rows of minute hooklets (crochets). The crochets allow the larva to hold onto surfaces. The larvae’s body fluids are forced into the prolegs and cause it to expand, extending the hooklets. This hook like structure grips the plant and aids in the larvae’s locomotion.
A fully grown larva consumes about 50 aphids per day while an adult female eats more than 100 aphids before she is ready to lay eggs. A ladybird will consume at least 2400 aphids during her life-span which is about one to two months.
During winter the adults hide in cracks, holes and under leaf litter, often in large aggregations.