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Class
Insecta (Insects)
Family
Coccinellidae (Lady Beetles)
State Protection
Not Listed
Federal Protection
Not Listed
State Conservation Status Rank
SH
Historical (Possibly extirpated) in New York - Missing from New York; known only from historical records (more than 30 years ago), but still some possibility of rediscovery upon further searching.
Global Conservation Status Rank
G5
Secure globally - Common in the world; widespread and abundant (but may be rare in some parts of its range).

Summary

Did you know?

The translation of the scientific name is transversus- "across" + guttatus- "spotted, speckled."

State Ranking Justification

This species was once considered common throughout the state. It has not been found in New York in decades.

Short-term Trends

This species hasn't been found in decades in New York.

Long-term Trends

Prior to the mid to late 1980s, C. transversoguttata was considered common in New York.

Conservation and Management

Threats

While it is difficult to prove, it appears this species has been displaced by nonnative lady beetles via competition for resources, depredation, and possible inbreeding. Agricultural land has been declining in New York since the 1880s resulting is less suitable habitat for many lady beetle species. Between 1940 and 1997, there was a 57% decline in farmed land in New York (Harmon et al. 2007). Lady beetles appear to be sensitive to pesticide use (Stephens and Losey 2003).

Conservation Strategies and Management Practices

Preservation of farmland would maintain or increase suitable open habitat. Pesticide use should be avoided when possible. If pesticide use cannot be avoided: use chemicals that target only the pest, treat only infested areas, and select chemicals that do not persist.

Research Needs

Additional research is needed to determine the effects of competition with other coccinellids. Further studies on lab rearing and reintroduction are needed.

Habitat

Habitat

C. transversoguttata prefer open habitats, especially old fields, agricultural fields, meadows, and marshes (Graves 2013).

Range

New York State Distribution

Transverse lady beetle was once considered common throughout the state. It was last found prior to the 1980s, despite efforts by a citizen science project known as The Lost Ladybug Project that began in 2000 (Cornell University 2015).

Global Distribution

At one time, this species was common throughout a large portion of North America extending from Labrador to Alaska and south to California. The current range extends from western Canada and western United States into Mexico. It is also found in Europe, Asia (except China,) and Central America. It is absent from the eastern portion of North America with the exception of two recent records from Canada: a 2012 record from Quebec and another from Labrador (Cornell University 2015).

Identification Comments

Identifying Characteristics

Coccinella transversoguttata is a slightly oval-shaped insect that ranges from 5-7.8 mm. The elytra are red/orange with black, typically teardrop-shaped, markings. There is a solid black band behind the pronotum and elongated black markings near the end of its body. The pronotum is black with white markings on the side. The head has two white spots. Eggs are yellow and are approximately 1.0 mm. Larvae are elongate and black with several segments. There are orange spots on the dorsal-lateral area of the abdomen. Spines run the length of the body (Graves 2013).

Characters Most Useful for Identification

Characteristics most useful for identifications include the two elongated or teardrop-shaped black markings on elytra.

Best Life Stage for Proper Identification

It is easier to identify adults than other life stages.

Diet

Transverse lady beetles prefer a diet of soft-bodied insects such as aphids and scale.

Best Time to See

The best time to look for lady beetles is early summer when it isn't too dry. The best places to look include old fields and agricultural land that has not been recently treated with pesticides.

  • Present
  • Active

The time of year you would expect to find Transverse Lady Beetle present and active in New York.

Taxonomy

Transverse Lady Beetle
Coccinella transversoguttata Falderman, 1835

  • Kingdom Animalia
    • Phylum Mandibulata (Mandibulates)
      • Class Insecta (Insects)
        • Order Coleoptera (Beetles, Weevils)
          • Family Coccinellidae (Lady Beetles)

Additional Resources

References

Cornell University. 2013. “The Lost Ladybug Project.” www.lostladybug.org. (date accessed: December 29, 2013).

Cornell University. 2015. "The Lost Ladybug Project." www.lostladybug.org (date accessed: December 28, 2015).

Graves, D. 2013. "Coccinella transversoguttata" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed January 16, 2014 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Coccinella_transversoguttata/

Harmon, J.P., E. Stephens, and J. Losey. 2007. The decline of native coccinellids (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in the United States and Canada. Journal of Insect Conservation. 11: 85-94.

New York Natural Heritage Program. 2019. New York Natural Heritage Program Databases. Albany, NY.

Poole, R. W., and P. Gentili (eds.). 1996. Nomina Insecta Nearctica: a checklist of the insects of North America. Volume 1 (Coleoptera, Strepsiptera). Entomological Information Services, Rockville, MD. Available online: http://www.nearctica.com/nomina/nomina.htm

Stephens, Erin and John Losey. 2003. The decline of C-9- New York State’s insect. The Xerces Society. Wings: Essays on Invertebrate Conservation. Fall 2003 pp. 8-12.

About This Guide

This guide was authored by: Hollie Y. Shaw

Information for this guide was last updated on: January 11, 2016

Please cite this page as:
New York Natural Heritage Program. 2019. Online Conservation Guide for Coccinella transversoguttata. Available from: https://guides.nynhp.org/transverse-lady-beetle/. Accessed November 13, 2019.

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