Harlequin Ladybird Harmonia axyridis

Harlequin Ladybirds coupled
Harlequin Ladybirds
The Harlequin Ladybird is an Asian import whose success and voracious appetite threatens our native species of ladybirds. The Harlequin is typically a little larger than our native 7-spot, although sizes vary. Colours and spots also vary. The red/orange version with black spots has a distinctive black W-shape thorax pattern. A couple of hundred gathered on my house wall in October 2006.
Harlequin Ladybird - spectabilis form
Harlequin Ladybird - succinea form
The Harlequin comes in several different colours and patterns. Nearly all have BROWN LEGS, unlike most of our other ladybirds of comparable size.
The basic red with 19 black spots (succinea), above right, varies in form and some have very few spots and a few have no spots at all (see below).
Harlequin ladybird
Harlequin ladybird
Harlequin ladybirds
There are two black forms, one with 4 red blotches (spectabilis) and one with 2 red marks (conspicua). Again these are very variable.
The 2 mark Harlequins are differentiated from other black ladybirds with 2 red marks by their size (much larger than the 2-spot ladybird and the tiny Pine/Heather/Kidneyspot varieties).
Harlequin ladybird
Harlequin ladybirds
Harlequin ladybird
In North America, where the invasive Asian import is also thriving, the Harlequin is called the Asian Lady Beetle.
Harlequin ladybird with no spots No-spots form (other than broken "W" on pronotum)
Harlequin ladybird eating aphids They eat aphids. The larva will also eat other larvae.
Harlequin ladybird with dented heart Dented heart
Harlequin ladybirds black pair Black pair (2-spotted and 4-spotted forms)
Harlequin ladybird mixed pair Mixed pair
Harlequin ladybird red pair Red pair
Harlequin ladybird
Harlequin ladybird
Harlequin ladybird
When the ladybird first emerges from the pupa it has no spots at all.
Harlequin ladybird After an hour, a faint suggestion of spots and orange-white wings
Harlequin ladybird After a few hours, the spots have appeared
Harlequin ladybird On the black version, the black area slowly appears