Ladybird Beetle Identification Key
A diagnostic guide to coccinellids in agricultural fields in Southeastern Minnesota
By Nancy A. Schellhorn
Photos by Nancy Schellhorn and Jason Harmon
Text by Nancy Schellhorn
This guide provides a pictoral key for seven species of ladybird beetles (Coccinellidae) commonly found in agricultural fields and natural habitats in south and southeast Minnesota, U.S.A. This key may not be valid in any other location.
We have found that our color photo key is easier to use than illustrations, and for most of the species listed, photos of each instar are provided.
Coleomegilla maculata (De Geer), adult, larvae
What stage is your ladybird beetle?
Adult coccinellids are fairly easy to identify (Gordon 1985), but the larvae and pupae are more difficult. In our key the larvae are identified by dorsal color pattern, a character that is widely recognized as appropriate and sufficient for identifying species in the subfamily Coccinellinae (Gordon and Vandenberg 1991, NAS personal experience), the subfamily of all species presented here. Keys by Rees et al (1994) and Gordon and Vandenberg (1991) illustrate late instar larvae from 46 genera and 6 adult species, respectively (also see Rees et al. 1994 for a more comprehensive list). The keys by Gordon (1985) and Gordon and Vandenberg (1991) are the most comprehensive keys for identifying adult coccinellids, both native and introduced.
For further information please contact:
Nancy A. Schellhorn, Research Scientist
120 Meiers Road
Indooroopilly, QLD 4068
David Andow, Professor
Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota
219 Hodson Hall
1980 Folwell Ave
St. Paul, MN 55108
Please cite as Shellhorn, N.A. 2003. A diagnostic guide to coccinellids in agricultural fields in Southeastern Minnesota. https://www.vegedge.umn.edu/pest-profiles/beneficials/ladybird-beetle-key