Field Guide
Red Chilocorus
Steel Blue Ladybird
Minute Two-spotted
Mealybug Ladybird
Yellow Shouldered
Transverse Ladybird
Variable Ladybird 1
Variable Ladybird 2 
Variable Ladybird 3
Common Spotted
Three-banded Ladybird
Netty Ladybird
Striped Ladybird
Spotted Amber
28-spotted Potato
26-spotted Potato
Large Leafeating Ladybird
Other Ladybirds


Variable Ladybird Beetles - Coelophora inaequalis 


This page contains information and pictures about Variable Ladybird Beetles that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Body length 5mm
The ladybirds are bright orange-yellow in colour with four various pattern black dot on each wing-covers. There is a black line at the meeting edges of the wing-covers. The dot patterns are various between individual.  
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For every colony of the Milkweed Aphids we found, we always see this ladybirds hiding somewhere nearby. 
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In the first picture above, the ladybird adult just catch a Milkweed Aphid and looking for a place to eat it. The Milkweed Aphids suck the juice of milkweed so we believe the aphids are toxic themselves, for the aphids store the chemical of the Milkweed plants in their body. The ladybird must have evolved the solution to overcome the toxic. 
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The ladybird female are about the same size , or a bit larger than the male. 


After mating, the female lay a batch of eggs, about ten, on leaf surface. 
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Eggs, length 1.5mm


About a week, the larvae hatch from the eggs. They are black in colour and may be mistaken as ants. They start to look for the aphids as their first meal. 
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1st instars, length 3mm                                           2nd instars, 5mm
Most other insect larvae consume their own eggs shells when hatched, as their first meal. The ladybird larvae seem do not do that. We also found that ladybird larvae do not eat their moulted skin in all instars stage.
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Later instars, length 7mm, 8mm
Ladybird larva is not easy to be identified. Different species may look similar. Ladybird larvae do not resemble adults. They  are soft-bodied and are variously coloured with spots and are adorned with spines. Their short legs protrude out from their elongate bodies, which are often dark with brightly colored markings. As in the pictures above, larvae are usually found in aphid colonies.
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In our backyard, we have a red flower Hibiscus plant. In early spring, the number of aphids built up. A week later the ladybirds caome and very soon the number of aphids was under control. The above first picture shows two ladybird larvae hunting the Cowpea Aphids on the Hibiscus plant. Usually we easily find both adult and larva hunting on the same plant if the plant infected by those aphids.
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Ladybird larvae develop rapidly. The larva emerges from the eggs takes 1-2 weeks. The larva reaches maturity within 2 weeks. Pupation takes place on plants where the larva fed and the adult emerges from the pupa after 1-2 weeks.
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The pupa has the same colour as adult. This pupa took about 8 days to turn into an adults, during summer.. 

The Variable Patterns

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The dot patterns are highly variable between individual. The above pictures are some examples. Please also see the Variable Ladybird 2 and Variable Ladybird 3 pages.

1. Australian Ladybird Beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) Their biology and classification - A.Ślipiński, Australian Biological Resources, 2007, p158.
2. 九星瓢蟲 - Insects of Taiwan.
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Up ] Transverse Ladybird ] [ Variable Ladybird 1 ] Variable Ladybird 2 ] Variable Ladybird 3 ] Common Spotted Ladybird ] Three-banded Ladybird ] Netty Ladybird ] Striped Ladybird ] Fungus-eating Ladybird ] Spotted Amber Ladybird ]


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Last updated: December 25, 2008.