Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Anatis lecontei

We have a handful of giant lady bird beetles in the US. Most of them (four) belong to the genus Anatis. And what's really nice about them is that they're native. Somewhere around half of our lady beetle fauna is introduced - having come aboard on (mostly) misguided efforts to control plant pests (such as aphids and scales). Many of them are competing (sometimes out-competing) our native species.

This species, Anatis lecontei, is fairly common in the certain places of the Rocky Mountains. I found this one up American Fork Canyon (Utah) a couple of weeks ago. It's hard to to get a good sense of scale but it is about 4 to 5 times bigger than your common lady bug. The shadow also obscures a black band that encircles the elytra. It's a handsome creature. The habitat shot is up Tibble Fork Canyon.

No comments: