Exochomus quadripustulatus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Taxonomy: Polyphaga > Cucujoidea > Coccinellidae > Exochomus > Exochomus quadripustulatus

Common name: 

Pine Ladybird

Images

Exochomus quadripustulatus
Exochomus quadripustulatus

Description

Length: 3 - 4.5mm.  Background colour: black.  Pattern colour: red spots.  Number of spots: 2-4 (4).  Spot fusions: none.  Melanic (black) forms: not applicable. Pronotum: black.  Leg colour: black.  Other features: distinct rim around the edge of the elytra.

Fourth-instar larva: grey and spiny but with shorter bristles than either the heather or kidney-spot ladybird; white patch on and around middle tubercle of first abdominal segment. Pupa: black and shiny with brown markings on thoracic region; larval skin encloses the lower part of the pupa. 

Biology

Habitats: Pine ladybirds can be found in a number of habitats including deciduous, coniferous and mixed woodland, grassland, coastal habitats (cliffs and dunes), heathland and marshy areas.  This species is common in urban habitats.  Pine ladybirds overlap with a number of other species of ladybird and are commonly found with pine-specialist ladybirds, plus 2-spot, 7-spot, 10-spot, 14-spot and harlequin ladybirds. 

Host plants:  The pine ladybird is so named because it is the most common species of ladybird found on pines.  Whilst its name suggests specialisation on pines, it is found on a very diverse range of plants.  These include needled conifers (particularly Scots pine), scale-leaved conifers, yew and many deciduous trees such as ash, birch, sallow, willow, oak, beech, lime, hazel, sycamore, maples and horse-chestnut.  It is also commonly found in gardens on plants such as thistles, nettle, camellia and firethorns.

Food: coccids, adelgids and other woolly aphids.

Overwintering sites: Pine ladybirds overwinter in leaf litter, foliage and bark crevices of evergreen trees and shrubs.

Distribution (may take a minute to appear)