Harmonia axyridis

Common Names: Asian ladybeetle, harlequin, multicolored Asian, Halloween ladybeetle, ladybug, lady bug
Category: Insects
Sub-category: Beetles

This species was possibly established in North America as the result of introductions into the United States in an attempt to control the spread of aphids. Whatever the source, in the last two decades, this insect has spread throughout the United States and Canada and has been a prominent factor in controlling aphid populations. Many people now view this species as a nuisance, partly due to their tendency to overwinter indoors and the unpleasant odor and stain left by their bodily fluid when frightened or squashed.

A typical coccinellid beetle in shape and structure, being domed and having a 'smooth' transition between its elytra (wing coverings), pronotum, and head. It ranges from 5.5 to 8.5 mm in size. The common color form is orange or red in coloration with 0 to 22 black spots of variable size. The pronotum is white with variable black patterning, ranging from a few black spots in an M formation to almost entirely black. The underside is dark with a wide reddish-brown border.

Found almost anywhere. Common in homes in the winter and in gardens and fields.

Edible Notes: Due to an accidental ingestion, I can confirm that they are not edible and extremely foul tasting. It leaves a mouth sensation not unlike greasy lettuce.
Warnings: While not generally dangerous, they have been known to bite people and can cause an allergic reaction. I've personally handled them many times without incident.