Multicolored Asian Lady beetles Prepared by: Jim JasinskiIntegrated Pest Management Program
Beneficial attributes of all Lady beetles • Adults & larvae are generalist predators • Feed on aphids, scale insects, mites, and other insects (some pollen & nectaries) • All of the above pests damage agricultural crops, home, garden, and landscape plantings • One form of biological control
MALB AdultsEggs to Adult ca. 30 days “M” on thorax
Life of a MALB… • Spring-Awake from winter nap (diapause), actively move from shelter to outside • Summer-Find food, find a mate, reproduce. There may be several generations per year with a larger proportion of later generations predisposed to over wintering. • Fall-Triggered by shorter days and cooler temps., aggregation behavior toward structures begins on warmer days, diapause
Color variation of beetles • Red color due to high quality of food eaten as larva, i.e., lots of tasty aphids • Yellowish color due to fewer aphids consumed but more pollen as a larva
Spot variation of beetles • More spots, lower temperature and a longer duration of pupa stage • Fewer spots, higher temperature and a shorter duration of pupa stage
Where are MALB from?Native to Asia… Russia Korea Japan
Importing MALB into the U.S. USDA-Agriculture Research Service Release Program Purpose: Biological control of pecan aphids and other tree pests.
Importing MALB into the U.S. 1978-1982
USDA-Agriculture Research ServiceMALB -Release Records Beneficial Insect Introduction Research Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Newark, DE. Release information in computer data banks, 1992.
USDA-Agriculture Research ServiceMALB -Release Records Beneficial Insect Introduction Research Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Newark, DE. Release information in computer data banks. 1992.
Good beetle, nasty habit • In Asia, they over winter in cracks and crevices of rock faces and cliffs • In America, where rock faces and cliffs are not readily available, they congregate and over winter in houses and other man made structures
Key MALB Factoids • Up to 20% of the beetles are 3 years old • 3 year old females can still lay eggs • Around 50% of over wintering beetles are male (50% are female) • MALB’s can fly when temps reach 500F; aggregation flights begin around 650F
Key MALB Factoids • Beetles tend to orient toward tall(est) structure in the area, i.e., house, tower, top of a hill, etc. • Aggregations in structures tend to be correlated with wooded areas • Presence of a sex attractant or aggregation pheromone has not been identified for these beetles • Speculated that beetle feces or dead bodies attract live beetles to area
MALB - FAQ Q: Do they bite people? A: They occasionally do bite. It feels like a severe pinch, but shouldn’t break the skin or draw blood.
MALB - FAQ Q: Do they carry disease? A: No, but there have been indications that either their bodies, hemolymph, or feces can be allergenic.
MALB - FAQ Q: Where they were released from helicopters? A: No. They were ground released at the various locations.
MALB - FAQ Q: Do the beetles reproduce in the attic or house over the winter? A: No. Males and females spend the winter in diapause (resting); the females are unmated.
MALB - FAQ Q: Do the beetles feed on wood or other house materials when over wintering? A: No, they rely upon fat stored up in their body to hold them over for the winter.
For more information… http://www.ag.ohio-state.edu/~ipm/