Twice-stabbed lady beetle

Twice-stabbed lady beetle

Chilocorus stigma, the twice-stabbed lady beetle, is a native resident of the United States and Canada but does not live west of the Sierra Nevada. It also lives in Oceania and has been introduced to Hawaii . Its elytra are shiny black in color, and there is one red spot on each elytra. The remainder of the body is black as well, but the abdomen is either yellow or red in color.

Habitat and pests eaten

C. stigmata mainly lives within terrestrial/arboreal habitats, primarily feeding of aphids found in these habitats as well as scales (such as pine needle scale, beech bark scale and Florida red scale) and mealybugs. It is a beneficial insect, and is useful in both natural wood stands and commercial forests such as orchards and citrus groves. It is beneficial against non native species. An introduced Hemlock pest, the elongate hemlock scale (Fiorinia externa Ferris), which has been doing considerable damage to Hemlock trees throughout North America, can be moderately controlled by the presence of C. stigmata . C. stigmata is currently not a ladybeetle that can be sold for commercial use in orchards or on farms.

Life cycle and issues

C. stigmata usually completes two lifecycles a year in Canada and the North United States but may complete several lifecycles a year further down South. They overwinter in ground litter during the colder months. C. stigmata has been shown, like other ladybeetles, to be susceptible to the use of insecticides diminishing its population in the wild. In order to preserve the benefits of this insect, pesticide users are encouraged to use natural alternatives to pesticide in order to curb the decline of C. stigmata.

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