The Harlequin Ladybird Survey
Harlequin ladybird elytra
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Ecology of Harlequin ladybirds

Habitat range

Very diverse. harlequin ladybirds have strong dispersal capabilities and can be found in many places. Most commonly found on deciduous trees, such as lime, sycamore and maple, and on low growing plants such as nettles. Will also inhabit reedbeds, coniferous woodland and crop systems.

Life cycle

Like all ladybirds, the harlequin ladybird undergoes complete metamorphosis and as such has an egg, larval, pupal and adult stage. Pre-adult development takes about 14 to 20 days at 25ºC and adults can begin to lay eggs after 5 days. A single female can lay over a thousand eggs.


Harlequin ladybirds feed most commonly on aphids, but have a wide food range, also feeding on scale insects, adelgids, the eggs and larvae of butterflies and moths, many other small insects, including other ladybirds, pollen, nectar, and sugary fluids, including honeydew and the juice from ripe fruits.