The Pine Ladybird Beetle (Exochomus quadripustulatus) is a small insect in the Coccinellidae family of ladybird beetles and ladybugs. It is a coccinellid beetle. It is also known as the Pine Lady Beetle.
The Pine Ladybird Beetle has black elytra (two wing cases) with two large reddish-orange comma-shaped spots and two smaller red round spots near its tail. Therefore, it has four medium-to-large spots in total. Its shiny body is oval-shaped and slightly domed. Its wings are hidden underneath the wing cases.
It has black compound eyes. Its antennae are light-brown and slightly thickened at the ends. Its neck shield has white spots and usually covers its head. It has little black legs.
It is very small. It measures about one centimetre (a quarter of an inch) in length.
The Pine Ladybird Beetle is common in Europe, Near East, northern Asia, and northern America. It is not found in China or the Southern Hemisphere. It prefers pine forests and deciduous trees.
It is seen from April to October, but more active in summer. In winter, it lives under tree bark and rocks.
It is carnivorous, feeding on aphids and other small insects.
The life cycle is egg, larva, pupa, adult. The female lays eggs, which hatch into larvae (grubs). The larvae do not look like the adults. The larvae have elongated black bodies with armour and tiny hair-like spines. They have six legs but no wings. As the larvae grow, they change into pupae (casings). Inside each pupa, or casing, the larva becomes a beetle, and the adult beetle emerges. This is called metamorphosis.
Location of photographs: Paris, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM