Black-spotted Lady Beetle

Hippodamia variegata

lady beetles feeding on cabbage aphids in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo © by Michael Plagens

Observed in Nairobi feeding upon aphids on Sukuma Wiki. Kenya, March 2013. A group of cabbage aphids sit close by.

Many lady beetle species are highly variable in color and pattern which can make identification difficult. Variegated Lady Beetles can be found with up to 13 black spots which can be fused together into various patterns. Some have no spots at all. The pronotum (segment just behind the head) usually has white border and a pair of white central spots.

Originally a native to Europe and Asia, this natural predator of aphid pests has been introduced widely in an attempt affect control. In the photo here the aphid prey are on a species of cole that is widely cultivated in Kenya.

Coccinellidae -- Lady Bird Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens. Page created 4 September 2013.