The Asian multicolored lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis, is easy to identify from its false "eyes"-- twin white football-shaped markings behind the head. In color, the insects range from black to mustard, with zero to many spots. A common U.S. form is mustard to red and has 16 or more black spots.
Convergent lady beetles (Hippodamia convergens) are imported for study at the ARS Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Laboratory in Newark, Delaware. Photo by Scott Bauer.
Three-sixteenths-inch-long Propylea quatuordecimpunctata (14-spot) lady beetles look for aphids on a fava bean leaf. Scientists think the beetles might be helpful in controlling Russian wheat aphids that now infest 17 Great Plains and Western states.
A P-14 lady beetle devours a pea aphid.