Species Profile

Nine-spotted Lady Beetle

Scientific Name: Coccinella novemnotata
Taxonomy Group: Arthropods
Range: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec
Last COSEWIC Assessment: April 2016
Last COSEWIC Designation: Endangered
SARA Status: No schedule, No Status

Individuals of this species may be protected under Schedule 1 under another name; for more information see Schedule 1, the A-Z Species List, or if applicable, the Related Species table below.


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Quick Links: | Description | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Nine-spotted Lady Beetle

Description

The Nine-spotted Lady Beetle (Coccinella novemnotata Herbst) is a small beetle (4.7 – 7.0 mm) that is native to North America. Adults are readily identifiable by external morphological features: their wing covers are pale orange to red, with a dark line where the two wing covers meet. They generally have nine black spots on their wing covers, but the size and number of these spots can vary. Furthermore, the head and pronotum are black with white markings. This charismatic species was once one of the more common and widespread lady beetles in North America, playing an important role as a biological control agent of aphids and other insect pests.

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Distribution and Population

The Nine-spotted Lady Beetle is a wide-ranging species occurring throughout most of southern Canada with a range that extends along the international border from Vancouver Island to southern Quebec; with northern range limits near: Quesnel, British Columbia; Edmonton, Alberta; Lake Athabasca, Saskatchewan and Roberval, Quebec. The Nine-spotted Lady Beetle also ranges across the continental United States southwards almost to the Mexican border.

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Habitat

Nine-spotted Lady Beetles are habitat generalists, known to consume a wide variety of prey across a wide range of habitats. They occur within agricultural areas, suburban gardens, parks, coniferous forests, deciduous forests, prairie grasslands, meadows, riparian areas and isolated natural areas. This broad habitat range reflects their ability to exploit seasonal changes in prey availability across different vegetation types.

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Biology

Nine-spotted Lady Beetles have four life stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult, and can have two generations per year. Adults of the spring generation can undergo aestivation to avoid high summer temperatures and lay eggs in early autumn. Adults of the autumn generation congregate over winter and undergo diapause; becoming active and reproducing when temperatures warm in the early spring. This species occupies a wide ecological niche across a wide variety of habitats and temperature regimes in Canada. Little is known on the natural dispersal rates for the Nine-spotted Lady Beetle. In general, lady beetles are very mobile, display low site fidelity, and readily engage in short- and long-distance dispersal. Drivers of dispersal are a combination of prey density and environmental variables such as temperature, wind speed and rainfall. This species does not migrate. Both adult and larval stages are predatory and prey primarily on aphids. In turn, this species is also subject to predation by introduced lady beetles, other invertebrates and vertebrates, and susceptible to parasitoids and pathogens.

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Threats

The specific causes of decline in the Nine-spotted Lady Beetle are unknown. Possible threats to this species include negative interactions with recently arrived non-native species, such as the Seven-spotted Lady Beetle and the Multi-coloured Asian Lady Beetle, through competition, intraguild predation or indirect effects through the introduction of pathogens. Other possible threats include direct and indirect effects of pesticide/chemical use associated with agriculture to control their main prey species aphids, and habitat loss through urban expansion, abandonment of farmland, and other human disturbances.

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Protection

Federal Protection

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

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Documents

PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

4 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Nine-spotted Lady Beetle Coccinella novemnotata in Canada (2016)

    The Nine-spotted Lady Beetle (Coccinella novemnotata Herbst) is a small beetle (4.7 – 7.0 mm) that is native to North America. Adults are readily identifiable by external morphological features: their wing covers are pale orange to red, with a dark line where the two wing covers meet. They generally have nine black spots on their wing covers, but the size and number of these spots can vary. Furthermore, the head and pronotum are black with white markings. This charismatic species was once one of the more common and widespread lady beetles in North America, playing an important role as a biological control agent of aphids and other insect pests.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Nine-spotted Lady Beetle (2017)

    This species was once common and broadly distributed through southern Canada, from Vancouver Island through the prairies to southern Québec. It has since declined significantly and is now rarely seen. Despite targeted search efforts over the last decade, the species has decreased in abundance relative to other lady beetle species. Specific causes of the decline are unknown. Possible threats include introduction of non-native lady beetles, which could affect this native species through competition, intraguild predation, or introduction of pathogens. Other possible threats include decline in habitat quality through indirect effects of pesticide/chemical use associated with agriculture to control their prey species, urban expansion, and, abandonment and subsequent natural succession of farmland.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2015-2016 (2016)

    Over the past year COSEWIC re-examined the status of 25 wildlife species; of these, the majority (68%) were re-assessed at the same or lower level of risk. Of a total of 45 species assessed, seven were assigned a status of Not at Risk (two re-assessments and five new assessments). To date, and with the submission of this report, COSEWIC’s assessments now include 724 wildlife species in various risk categories, including 320 Endangered, 172 Threatened, 209 Special Concern, and 23 Extirpated (i.e., no longer found in the wild in Canada). In addition, 15 wildlife species have been assessed as Extinct, 54 wildlife species have been designated as Data Deficient, and 177 have been assessed and assigned Not at Risk status.

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species - January 2017 (2017)

    The Government of Canada is committed to preventing the disappearance of wildlife species at risk from our lands. As part of its strategy for realizing that commitment, on June 5, 2003, the Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA). Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species provided for under SARA, also called the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Extirpated, Endangered and Threatened species on Schedule 1 benefit from the protection afforded by the prohibitions and from recovery planning requirements under SARA. Special Concern species benefit from its management planning requirements. Schedule 1 has grown from the original 233 to 521 wildlife species at risk. In 2016, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, the Governor in Council approved listing proposals for 44 wildlife species. It is proposed that 23 species be added to Schedule 1, 18 be reclassified or have a change made to how they are defined (two wildlife species are being split into four), one species  be removed from Schedule 1, and another two species not be added. Listing proposals were published in Canada Gazette, part I for a 30-day public comment period and final listing decisions for all 44 species are expected in the first half of 2017.Please submit your comments byMay 11, 2017, for terrestrial species undergoing normal consultationsand byOctober 11, 2017, for terrestrial species undergoing extended consultations.For a description of the consultation paths these species will undergo, please see:Species at Risk Public Registry website The COSEWIC Summaries of Terrestrial Species Eligible for Addition or Reclassification on Schedule 1 - January 2017