Ladybird (Two spotted) Adalia bipunctata
Species: A. bipunctata
Binomial name: Adalia bipunctata
Common name: Two spotted ladybird, Two spotted ladybug, Two spotted lady beetle.
Adalia bipunctata, commonly known as the two-spot ladybird is a carnivorous beetle that is found throughout the holarctic region and is now common in southern New Zealand. It has been introduced into countries as a biological control agent against aphids and other small insects. In New Zealand adults and larvae it eat all aphids and other soft-bodied hemipterans such as scale insects and mealybugs. In New Zealand is an important predator of the pine aphid Eulachnus brevipilosus and the spruce aphid Elatobium abietinum, both which suck sap from the trees twigs, shoots, and needles. It is also a possible predators of the giant willow aphid, Tuberolachnus salignus.
Adalia bipunctata is small sized, dome shaped beetle that is about 4-5mm long. It has several forms. The most common form of Adalia bipunctata is the red form which has a red/orange abdomen and 2 prominent black spots, one on each elytra. Another is the black form which has red spots on black elytras. Both forms have a black and white pronotum. Their ventral surface is entirely black and their legs are also black.
The two-spotted lady beetle's life cycle starts with eggs that are usually laid in clutches. Early to mid-spring the larva hatches from the egg by biting a hole in it. The larva looks very different from an adult; they have a soft elongated body that is a greyish-black colour with yellow and black spots on it. It has six legs and no wings. They are cannibalistic. A larva goes through four larval stages, each time shedding its old skin. When it reaches the last larval stage is approximately the size of an adult beetle, it attaches itself to a substrate and moults into a pupa. Inside the pupa, the adult develops. Finally the adult ecloses from the pupa. An adult can live for 1 or 2 years.
The common form of Adalia bipunctata
The black form form of Adalia bipunctata
The larva of Adalia bipunctata