Harlequin lady beetle

Harmonia axyridis

Common name:

Harlequin lady beetle

Scientific name:

Harmonia axyridis

Alternative common names:

None at present.

A medium-sized shiny orange to red beetle of 5-8mm. The pattern of black spots is very variable and on the pronotum (neck) there is a black ‘M’ or ‘W’ pattern which distinguishes this pest from our indigenous lady beetles. Negatively impacts pristine grassland and agricultural crops, as it is a voracious generalist. It can occur in large densities and compete against other indigenous insects.

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    Central and Eastern Asia.

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    NEMBA Category 1b.

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    Widespread across most regions of South Africa, including the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng and Mpumalanga.

    How does it spread?

    Dispersal to new areas through flight.

    Why is it a problem?

    Negatively impacts pristine grassland and agricultural crops, as it is a voracious generalist. It can occur in large densities and compete against other indigenous insects.

    What does it look like?

    Description: A medium-sized shiny orange to red beetle of 5-8mm. The pattern of black spots is very variable and on the pronotum (neck) there is a black ‘M’ or ‘W’ pattern which distinguishes this pest from our indigenous lady beetles. Habitat: Grassland, fynbos, gardens and agricultural crops. Breeding: Females lay yellowish eggs in small clusters on the surface of leaves, branches or tree trunks.