Biocontrol Agent Profile

12-spotted lady beetle
Coleomegilla maculata


The 12-spot ladybeetle is a highly polyphagous species with a broad prey range.  Although primarily an aphid feeder, it can also develop on many other prey and even on an exclusive diet of pollen.  This species has a strong affinity for corn, especially as tasselling approaches.  However, it has a high demand for free water in both larval and adult stages and appears unable to obtain sufficient hydration from plant sources alone.  This limits its distribution in arid regions to locales in the vicinity of some open source of water.