Spotted Ladybird

Coleomegilla maculata

''Coleomegilla maculata'', commonly known as the Spotted Ladybird, Pink Spotted Ladybird or Twelve-spotted Lady Beetle, is a large coccinellid beetle native to North America. The adults and larvae feed primarily on aphids and the species has been used as a biological control agent.
Lady Beetle Larva Such and amazing transformation from this less attractive larva to the fully formed spotted ladybird. I spotted these on a yucca stock infested with aphids. Coleomegilla maculata,Geotagged,Spotted Ladybird,United States

Appearance

The spotted lady beetle is about six millimetres long, more flattened than most species of lady beetle, pink or red with six spots on each wing cover. The thorax is a similar shade of red with two large triangular black patches. The larvae resemble miniature alligators and are dark coloured. They have three pairs of legs and grow to about six millimetres long. The eggs are spindle shaped and laid upright in groups near potential prey.
Spotted Lady Beetle - Coleomegilla maculata Spotted Lady Beetles are a pinkish red color. Body shape is oval with six black spots on each elytron. The pronotum has two large triangular black spots. The head is black with a red triangular marking. Coleomegilla,Coleomegilla maculata,Geotagged,Spotted Ladybird,Spring,United States,beetle,lady beetle

Behavior

A female beetle may lay between 200 and 1,000 eggs in groups of 8-15 in protected sites on stems and leaves over a three-month period. The larvae actively seek out prey and may travel as far as twelve metres in their search for food. The larvae grow rapidly, moulting four times before attaching themselves by the abdomen to a leaf or other surface to pupate. The adult beetles emerge from three to twelve days later depending on the temperature. There are two to five generations per year. This species is most abundant in September when they congregate before mating and winter hibernation. They overwinter in large aggregations in leaf litter, under stones and in other protected sites at the edge of fields and hedgerows. They emerge in spring and look for suitable prey and egg laying sites in nearby crops, often dispersing by walking along the ground.
Spotted Lady Beetle (Coleomegilla maculata) At the disturbed edge of a hickory-oak forest. 

Poor quality shot, but I figured I would document it! Coleomegilla maculata,Geotagged,Spotted Ladybird,Spring,United States

Habitat

These lady beetles can be seen wherever the insects on which they prey are found. Crops which support aphid populations include wheat, sorghum, sweet corn, alfalfa, soybeans, peas, beans, cotton, potatoes, brassicacious crops, tomatoes, asparagus and apples. Besides aphids, they include in their diet adelgids, mites, insect eggs and small larvae. They also eat pollen which may constitute up to 50% of their food intake, nectar, water and honeydew. When normal prey is scarce, both adults and larvae sometimes exhibit cannibalistic tendencies, eating eggs, larvae and pupae of their own species.

References:

Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.

Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionArthropoda
ClassInsecta
OrderColeoptera
FamilyCoccinellidae
GenusColeomegilla
SpeciesC. maculata