The Harmonia axyridis, commonly known as the Asian lady beetle, is a type of ladybird with a dome-shaped body and a variety of colors.
Originally from eastern Asia, it was introduced in the United States to assist in controlling pecan aphids.
These small beetles come with a big personality and require quite a few specific care requirements.
Read on to learn more about how to make your Asian Lady Beetle feel welcome in your home and live a long and healthy life.
|Common Name||Asian Lady Beetle|
|Scientific Name||Harmonia axyridis|
|Use||Pest Control, Pets|
|Lifespan||2-3 years/ 30-90 days in the wild|
|Adult Size||5 to 8 mm|
|Breeding Type||Egg Layer|
|Minimum Tank Size||5 Gallon|
What Are Asian Lady Beetles?
Asian Lady Beetles are small beetles belonging to the family Coccinellidae and scientifically known as the Harmonia axyridis.
Also known as the “Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle” in the UK, the name was derived from the prominent red and black spots on their wings which resemble the coats of arms of ancient European families.
These beetles are native to parts of Eastern Asia but have been known to spread across Europe, North America, Central America, and even Australia.
They are great at pest control and can feed on aphids, larvae, mealybugs, and other small insects.
What Do Asian Lady Beetles Look Like?
Asian Lady Beetles are small beetles that range in size from 5 to 8 millimeters.
They often come in a few different colors and patterns, with red and orange being the most common hues.
The back of their bodies has darker shades—generally black or brown—that create an interesting pattern of spots.
Harmonia axyridis have a total of three body parts—a head, thorax, and abdomen—and three pairs of legs.
The head houses two large eyes and two short antennas from which the beetles can detect vibrations and odors.
The insects also have chewing mouthparts so they can feed on their natural prey.
They also have four wings, two short wings that provide protection and two large transparent wings that open and close like a fan.
Lastly, Asian Lady Beetles contains a stinky scent gland located between the wings and the thorax that is used as a defense system.
This gland releases an unpleasant odor when the beetles are threatened or handled roughly.
Benefits Of Using Asian Lady Beetles
Harmonia axyridis make a great addition to a vivarium for several reasons.
Not only are they easy to care for, but they also help keep pests under control while providing the tank with a natural, insect-friendly atmosphere.
They are an excellent source of natural food for frogs, lizards, and other small reptiles, and their coloring adds a unique element of beauty to the tank.
They also offer a social benefit to other inhabitants as they are a lively, active species.
With the proper requirements in place, they can live for many years in a tank, making them a worthwhile investment.
Asian Lady Beetle Facts
Asian Lady Beetles, or Harmonia axyridis, are small beetles with vibrant coloration and a lively personality.
They are omnivores by nature and have a lifespan of multiple years, depending on the care they receive.
Proper housing, nutrition, and handling are all crucial to ensure the long-term health of your beetle, and they may even be capable of breeding as well.
Asian Lady Beetles were originally native to East Asia, including Russia, China, and Korea.
They have since spread to other areas, and can now be found all across the United States and in parts of Europe.
This species of beetle prefers to live in open areas with plenty of sunshine and a lot of trees.
Harmonia axyridis typically make their homes in wooded areas that have been cleared and have plenty of foliage to feed upon.
They also enjoy shelter from the wind and rain, so they will often hide away among tall grass and bushes during stormy weather.
In the wild, Asian Lady Beetles tend to be scavengers and predators.
They feed on an array of items, ranging from pollen and nectar to aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects.
To mimic their natural diet, feeding a variety of items is best – for example, alternating between silkworm chow one day and crushed soft-bodied insects the next.
Providing small portions is also important – too much food at once can spoil quickly and lead to health issues.
Harmonia axyridis are quite docile creatures that enjoy being handled and interacting with people.
However, they will need their space away from other animals and shouldn’t be kept with more aggressive species, as they could become a target of attacks or other stress-inducing behavior.
When handled, Asian Lady Beetles are known to move around in a gentle, predictable fashion, particularly if they are used to being handled regularly.
Overall, good handling practices and lots of patience will make sure that both you and your beloved beetle have the best and most enjoyable experience.
Harmonia axyridis typically live for 2 to 3 years under ideal conditions.
To survive, they must go through a four-stage life cycle to reach maturity.
This begins with an egg, then a larva, a pupa, and finally the adult form.
In all of these stages, Asian Lady Beetles require specific care and nutrition.
At the egg stage, the female will lay clusters of eggs on the underside of leaves. After a few days, the eggs will hatch and the larva stage will emerge.
During the larva stage, the larvae will feed on a variety of insects such as aphids and other soft-bodied prey.
After about three weeks the larva stage will transform into a pupa.
At this stage, no feed is required and the pupa will remain in a still state.
Finally, after 2-3 weeks, the pupa will emerge as an adult beetle.
Asian Lady Beetles, like most insects, reproduce sexually through mating.
Each spring, when the temperatures reach 18-20°C (64-68°F), males will fly around looking for females.
Before mating, males and females will sometimes engage in courtship behavior, such as rubbing antennae and tapping.
Once mating has occurred, the female will lay her eggs on the underside of leaves or other flat surfaces.
Each egg is light yellow and has a shape similar to a conical football.
The eggs take roughly 10 days to hatch with larvae emerging and immediately beginning to feed.
The cycle of life begins anew as the larvae hatch and begin to feed and grow.
Where To Find Asian Lady Beetles
Finding Harmonia axyridis in the wild is relatively simple and involves simply searching around your home and yard for any small red or orange beetles.
However, it’s essential to make sure that you’re collecting Asian Lady Beetles and not any other species, as many other types of lady beetles look similar.
Once you’ve identified the beetle, you can then transfer it to a clean container to bring home for safekeeping.
If you’d like to purchase an Asian Lady Beetle, you’ll be able to find them in many pet shops, as well as some online retailers that specialize in exotic pets.
When purchasing, look out for signs of illness, as these can be passed from one beetle to another.
If you’d rather avoid all this, you can always purchase a few larvae from an online seller, which will then quickly turn into adult beetles.
Asian Lady Beetle Care
To properly care for Harmonia axyridis, you must provide the right habitat, food, and handling techniques.
Create an appropriate habitat with the right environment and temperature, and feed them with a protein-rich diet.
When interacting with the beetles, handle them gently and avoid sudden movements to ensure a positive experience.
Also, be sure to be observant of any potential health issues.
With the right care, your beetles can live a long and healthy life.
The optimal pH for the tank’s water should be between 5.5 and 8.0, with a hardness of 5 to 8 dGH.
The temperature should be kept between 70 and 85°F, and the lighting should be natural or LED.
UV terrarium lighting is beneficial since beetles need ultraviolet light to make vitamin D3.
It is also beneficial to provide other hiding areas in the tank such as rocks, plants, and branches.
What Do Asian Lady Beetles Eat?
Feeding Harmonia axyridis requires a bit of practice.
Knowing what to feed them and how to do it properly is key to ensuring your pet has a happy life.
Asian Lady Beetles are omnivores and will eat a range of food items such as vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, grains, and insects.
You can also supplement their diet with nutrient-rich cricket pellets, flake food, and fish food.
When feeding your beetle, it’s essential to make sure the food is finely chopped or small enough for them to eat.
It’s also helpful to provide fresh food every day and replace any food that is left over from the previous day.
Here is a list of some of the food items you can feed H. axyridis:
- Vegetables such as lettuce, kale, broccoli, and cucumber
- Fruits such as apples, oranges, and strawberries
- Meats such as insects, mealworms, and worms
- Fish such as fish flakes and freeze-dried fish
- Grains such as oats and wheat
- Insect larvae such as mealworms and waxworms
- Nutrient-rich cricket pellets and flake food
If you’re looking for a more detailed approach to feeding these critters, be sure to check out my ultimate DIY ladybug food guide. I give a more in-depth explanation of the best foods and my favorite recipe.
Best Tankmates For Asian Lady Beetles
When considering tankmates for Harmonia axyridis, it is best to stick with species that have similar beneficial qualities in their tankmates.
These tankmates should be small in size and not overly active, as the Ladybird is relatively gentle and a bit skittish.
Care should be taken when introducing a new tankmate into your Asian Lady Beetle’s enclosure, as some animals may be too active or aggressive for the Asian Lady Beetle’s liking.
It is important to remember that Asian Lady Beetles are social creatures and enjoy company.
If the beetles are kept in groups, monitoring them on a daily basis is good to ensure they are getting enough to eat and forming proper social hierarchies.
Finally, remember that adding in too many tankmates can increase the risk of overcrowding, stress, and illness in your beetle’s enclosure.
Taking care of your Asian Lady Beetle requires time and attention, but the reward of a happy and healthy companion is worth it.
With the right information, love, and dedication, you can provide Harmonia axyridis with a safe environment where your special little friend can thrive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, Asian lady beetles (Harmonia axyridis) can be beneficial in gardens as they are natural predators of aphids and other garden pests.
They also help to pollinate flowering plants.
Asian lady beetles can sometimes become nuisance pests if they get indoors in large numbers, as they will congregate near windows and gather in walls or ceilings.
They do not cause significant damage, but they may release a foul odor as a defense and leave their yellowish–orange shells behind.
Asian lady beetles are attracted to areas with a high abundance of aphids, their primary food source.
They are also attracted to sunny areas, light-colored buildings, and locations with a strong odor, such as ripe fruit or flowers.
Asian lady beetles are most likely indoors because they are seeking shelter from cold temperatures or other environmental pressures.
During the winter months, they will look for warmer areas to stay during the day and then move back outside in the evening.
Harmonia axyridis, or Asian lady beetles, are beneficial for gardens as they prey on aphids, mealybugs, and other garden pests.
They are also pollinators, helping to fertilize flowering plants.
In large numbers, however, they can become nuisance pests by congregating near windows and leaving behind yellowish–orange shells and a foul odor.
Harmonia axyridis, also known as the Asian lady beetle, is an invasive species that has been introduced to parts of North America. It has spread rapidly and can cause problems for native ecosystems by displacing native predators and damaging crops.
Harmonia axyridis can be harmful to local ecosystems by competing with native species for food and introducing diseases.
However, they can also help keep aphid populations under control and can be beneficial to farmers and gardeners who need help controlling pest populations.