Ladybugs (coccinellidae) are a welcome addition to any garden because they eat the small bugs that can destroy plants. In the late 1980s, the Asian beetle (Harmonia axyridis) was introduced into the United States to further help control the pest population. Although ladybugs and Asian beetles look very similar, there are differences between them.
Asian Beetle Appearance
The Asian beetle varies in color, ranging from pale orange to deep red. The number of spots on the backs of Asian beetles also varies, with some beetles having no spots and others as many as 19. An Asian beetle has a distinguishing mark between its back and head that looks like a "W" or an "M," depending on which way you view the bug.
The ladybug is the beetle that most people are familiar with and for which the Asian beetle is often mistaken. Ladybugs are dark red in color, with little variation between each individual bug. A true ladybug also features a more uniform pattern of dots on its back, and it lacks the "W" or "M" shape behind its head. A ladybug's shell can be either rounded or oval in shape.
Asian Beetle Features
While the Asian beetle is a helpful biological insect control, they themselves are also considered pests. Once believed to bite people, Asian beetles don't technically bite. However, when the beetle searches your hand for moisture or food, it may inflict a sharp pinching or scraping sensation. Asian beetles are also likely to invade your home. They often congregate on the sunny side of a house, entering through small cracks around windows or siding when the weather turns chilly.
Ladybugs are sometimes called a gardener's best friend. They voraciously eat aphids and other small bugs that are harmful to garden plants. A ladybug can consume up to 5,000 aphids during its short life span -- even in the larval stage a ladybug feeds on small insects. The ladybug's red color represents a warning that makes it unattractive to potential predators, as does the foul substance that is secreted from its legs. True ladybugs, which are thought to bring good luck, exist in fewer numbers than Asian beetles.
- Photo Credit GuidoVrola/iStock/Getty Images
The Differences Between Ladybugs & Butterflies
Although ladybugs and butterflies are both insects, and often are found in flowers, they differ in many aspects. Ladybug, ladybird or lady...
What Does the Japanese Beetle Look Like?
What Does the Japanese Beetle Look Like?. Part of the series: Insect Information. Japanese beetles are about a centimeter in length, with...
Beetles That Look Like Lady Bugs
Beetles That Look Like Lady Bugs. Ladybugs are a beneficial group of insects that help farmers and gardeners by eating aphids and...
Difference Between Male & Female Ladybugs
Ladybugs, also know as ladybirds and lady beetles, are small, red insects loved by farmers and feared by aphids. Despite their name,...
Body Parts of a Ladybug
"Ladybug" is a name that commonly refers to the little ladybird beetle, of which there are over 5,000 known species worldwide. Although...
What Kills Asian Beetles & Ladybugs?
Ladybugs and the Asian lady beetle are not synonymous, but they are often mistaken for the other. The Asian lady beetle, not...
Is There a Difference Between a Male and a Female Roadrunner?
Roadrunners are pheasant-like, crested birds. Desert-dwellers, they prefer running to flight and are capable of reaching speeds of 15 to 20 miles...
How to Tell the Difference Between Male & Female May Beetles
May beetles, which are also called June beetles or June bugs, grow up to 25 millimeters and are reddish brown with a...
Habits of Ladybugs
Ladybugs are actually beetles, and they have gained popularity for both their colorful appearance and benefit to gardeners and farmers. Attracting ladybugs...
Difference Between Bugs & Insects
While people often use the term "bug" to describe any insect that crosses their path, this is actually an incorrect use of...