The Convergent Lady Beetle is like the “social bug” of the ladybug family. These congregating critters thrive on community and that makes them special.
This Hippodamia convergens care guide is designed to provide gardeners with the information they need to ensure their Lady Beetles are thriving in their natural habitats.
From understanding the requirements of this type of ladybug to identifying and treating common pests and diseases…
This comprehensive guide has everything you need to know to keep your Convergent Lady Beetles going strong!
|Common Name||Convergent Lady Beetle|
|Scientific Name||Hippodamia convergens|
|Use||Pest Control, Pets|
|Lifespan||2 -24 months|
|Adult Size||4-7 mm|
|Breeding Type||Egg Layer|
|Minimum Tank Size||5 Gallon|
What Are Convergent Lady Beetles?
Convergent Lady Beetles are small multi-spotted beetles that have been around since pre-historic times.
They belong to the family Coccinellidae and their scientific name is Hippodamia convergens.
The common name “convergent” comes from the tendency of the ladybugs to converge in large numbers to hibernate together during the winter.
They feed on aphids and other soft-bodied garden pests, making them a valuable aid to gardeners in controlling insect populations.
What Do Convergent Lady Beetles Look Like?
Hippodamia convergens are oval-shaped beetles with groupings of black spots on their red or orange wings.
The average beetle is only about 4 to 7 millimeters long as adults, with a number of black spots on each wing.
Depending on the individual beetle, the number of spots may range from 0-17.
They have a distinct black head, with two antennae sticking out at either side.
The front wings, known as elytra, are curved and hard and act as a shield for the thin, membranous wings beneath.
When the beetle isn’t flying, the elytra folds across the beetle’s back.
The beetle’s feet have sharp, grasping claws that help them securely attach to vegetation.
The overall coloring of the Convergent Lady Beetle ranges from deep red to light yellow or orange.
The black pattern of spots on their wing cases varies among beetles but is always present.
The underside of the beetle is typically dark gray.
Benefits Of Using Convergent Lady Beetles
Using Convergent Lady Beetles in vivariums can be a rewarding and fun experience.
These ladybugs have many characteristics that can benefit the wellness of a variety of other vivarium residents.
For starters, the Hippodamia convergens is a beneficial predator, meaning that it can help to control other pest populations and protect other animals in the enclosure.
As a great form of natural pest control, and because of their size, they can get to all the nooks and crannies that many other insects cannot reach.
Furthermore, these ladybirds also help to provide a natural beauty to their habitat, and their bright colors can be a great addition to any tank décor.
Finally, the lady beetle is also a great source of food for many of the animals in the setup.
Their larvae are filled with high-quality proteins, making them a great source of supplemental nutrition for other animals.
Convergent Lady Beetle Facts
Hippodamia convergens is a small, colorful beetle native to North America.
They typically feed on a number of pests, making them welcome guests in gardens.
They have a lifespan that ranges greatly, and during the breeding season, females can lay hundreds of eggs at a time.
With the right care and environment, the Convergent Lady Beetle can live a happy life in your garden!
Hippodamia convergens are native to the western parts of North America, but they can also be found in parts of Canada, Europe, and Australia.
The Convergent Lady Beetle lives in an array of habitats, from meadows and grasslands to woodlands and riparian areas.
The beetles can also be found congregating in clusters in tree bark and other sheltered areas, often huddling in large populations during winter months.
When spring arrives, the beetles will often migrate in search of blooming fields and meadows.
To survive and reproduce, the lady beetle needs to locate a suitable food source as well as protection from the elements and predators.
The beetle also needs an environment with the right amount of sunshine, moisture, and air circulation to thrive and reproduce.
To achieve this, the beetle is often seen in close proximity to flowers, trees, and other vegetation where it can find the right combination of food, shelter, and light.
The diet of Hippodamia convergens in their natural habitat consists of various species of aphids.
They feed on these pests by using their mandibles to puncture the outer shell of the aphid’s body.
After puncturing the outer shell, the Convergent Lady Beetle then proceeds to ingest the juices inside the aphid’s body along with the nutrients within.
In addition to aphids, these ladybugs also occasionally consume other species of soft-bodied insects such as caterpillars, and larvae.
They may also feed on plant pollen, sap, and other plant components.
Convergent Lady Beetles are relatively docile creatures and can easily be managed with a few simple precautions.
These beetles do not bite and are not dangerous to humans or other animals.
They are known to be friendly and curious creatures, often seeking out people or the shelter of our homes.
While they usually show no aggression, they can be defensive when threatened, so it is best to observe them from a safe distance.
Hippodamia convergens can live for up to two years in the wild.
The lifespan of this species depends on the availability of food and shelter as well as the presence of predators.
The life cycle of Convergent Lady Beetles begins with egg-laying.
After 4-14 days, the eggs will hatch into larvae.
The larvae will feed on their primary prey, aphids, and other soft-bodied insects until they reach the pupal stage, which takes between 12-15 days.
After this pupal stage, they emerge as adults who may live for another year in the wild.
During this time, the adults will feed, mate, and lay eggs completing the cycle.
Once adult Convergent Lady Beetles reach maturity, they begin to reproduce and mate.
The mating usually occurs during warm weather.
These ladybirds seek sunny areas in which to breed and reproduce.
During mating, both male and female Hippodamia convergens will engage in a courtship ritual that typically lasts a few minutes and can involve the male chasing the female.
When the female is ready to lay eggs, she will seek a suitable place such as shallow bark crevices and underneath leaf debris.
The female will lay clusters of orange eggs that are elliptical in shape.
Where To Find Convergent Lady Beetles
The best way to find Convergent Lady Beetles in the wild is to search for their larval or adult forms in those areas.
You may also find them in places where beneficial insects are commonly found, like bright-colored flowers or near logs or rocks where they can hide.
If you are looking to buy Hippodamia convergens, many online retailers offer live shipments of these and other beneficial insects.
Be sure to buy from a trusted source in order to ensure you are getting healthy, safe, and reliable bugs.
Convergent Lady Beetle Care
To care for Convergent Lady Beetles, it is essential to provide them with a habitat with adequate water, shelter, and food sources.
Additionally, it is helpful to regularly monitor humidity levels and clean their enclosure.
It is also good practice to identify and treat common pests and diseases to ensure the health and well-being of Hippodamia convergens.
If you’re looking to keep Convergent Lady Beetles, it’s vital to meet their tank requirements.
They’ll need a terrarium with a secure lid, slightly acidic pH levels (between 6.5 and 7.5), soft water with a hardness of 5-15 dGH, and an air temperature of 65-75°F.
To create a natural daylight cycle, the vivarium should also receive 12-14 hours of proper terrarium lighting each day.
It is important to keep the vivarium clean and the humidity levels between 50 and 60%.
In addition, clean, fresh water should be available for the beetles at all times.
What Do Convergent Lady Beetles Eat?
One of the most important tasks to provide optimal care for your Convergent Lady Beetles is to make sure they are receiving the proper nutrition.
Feeding Hippodamia convergens is simple but, requires research and planning.
Here are some tips on how to feed your lady beetles:
- Identify the type of food your beetles require. The type of food will depend on the age and species of the ladybug.
- Provide high-quality food sources for your Convergent Lady Beetles. Food sources should be rich in essential nutrients and free from chemicals or other contaminants.
- Drain and clean containers after feeding your ladybirds. This prevents the buildup of contaminants that could threaten the health of your bugs.
- Monitor Hippodamia convergens for signs of malnutrition. A healthy Lady Beetle has a plump, glossy appearance. If you notice your Lady Beetles are thin or lethargic, consider providing additional food sources or seek a qualified veterinarian for assistance.
Following these tips will help ensure your bugs are receiving the nutrition they need to remain healthy and thrive in their natural habitat.
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 Convergent Lady Beetles
When it comes to choosing the best tankmates for Hippodamia convergens, you should select insects with similar beneficial qualities.
Beneficial tankmates include other insects that can help control unwanted pests and provide essential nutrients to your Convergent Lady Beetles.
These tankmates could include Ground Beetles, Soldier Beetles, and Lacewings, all of which are known to provide natural pest control by preying on aphids and other garden pests.
In addition to predatory insects, you may consider adding a few beneficial flower species as tank mates.
Examples of beneficial flowers include sunflowers, daisies, and dandelions.
These flowers provide essential pollen, nectar, and oils for your Convergent Lady Beetles.
Having these flowers in your garden can help your Convergent Lady Beetles reach their full potential and keep your garden healthy and thriving.
These organisms are an important part of a complete ecosystem and can help keep your Convergent Lady Beetles healthy.
In conclusion, understanding and meeting the needs of the Convergent Lady Beetle is key to proper care.
To optimize their quality of life, gardeners should provide quality food sources, monitor humidity levels, and clean enclosures regularly.
Taking the time to build a healthy environment for Hippodamia convergens will help ensure that they remain healthy and thrive in their natural habitats.