Transverse lady beetle
Scientific name: Coccinella transversoguttata
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Photo credit: David McCorquodale CC 4.0 International Public License
“Endangered” means the species lives in the wild in Ontario, but is facing imminent extinction or extirpation.
Date added to the Species at Risk in Ontario List
August 1, 2018
What it looks like
The Transverse Lady Beetle is a small, round beetle that ranges between 5 and 8 millimetres in length. It has a unique colour pattern that helps distinguish it from other lady beetles. Adults have orange to red wing covers with a black band marking and four long black spots.
Where it lives
The Transverse Lady Beetle is a habitat generalist, meaning it is able to live in a wide range of habitats, including agricultural areas, suburban gardens, parks, coniferous forests, deciduous forests, prairie grasslands, meadows and riparian areas. Their distribution is mainly driven by seasonal changes in prey availability (aphids and other small insects) across a variety of vegetation types.
Where it’s been found in Ontario
The Transverse Lady Beetle is a wide-ranging species that has been recorded throughout Canada and the United States, but is now either absent or below detection levels in many of its former habitats. In Ontario, all records are considered to be historical. There have been no new records of the Transverse Lady Beetle since 1990, despite greater search effort in recent years to find individuals in parts of its previous range.
What threatens it
The greatest threat to the Transverse Lady Beetle is considered to be the introduction of non-native lady beetle species that compete for food and resources, parasitic species such as wasps and mites that prey on the lady beetle, and pathogenic organisms that cause diseases. The specific cause of decline is unclear, however, it is thought that these introduced species have had a major role in lady beetle decline.
Other possible threats include the use of insecticides in urban and agricultural settings, habitat loss through urban expansion, conversion of farmland to forest, and other human disturbances.
Actions we are taking
Endangered species and their general habitat are automatically protected.
A recovery strategy advises the ministry on ways to ensure healthy numbers of the species return to Ontario.
Read the executive summary and the full document (July 22, 2019)
Government response statement
A government response statement outlines the actions the government intends to take or support to help recover the species.
Read the government response statement (April 23, 2020)
What you can do
Report a sighting
- Report a sighting of an endangered animal or plant to the Natural Heritage Information Centre. Photographs with specific locations or mapping coordinates are always helpful.
- Volunteer with your local nature club or provincial park to participate in surveys or stewardship work focused on species at risk.
Be a good steward
- Private land owners have a very important role to play in species recovery. If you find Transverse Lady Beetle on your land, you may be eligible for stewardship programs that support the protection and recovery of species at risk and their habitats.
Report illegal activity
- Report any illegal activity related to plants and wildlife to
- The Transverse Lady Beetle controls pests in gardens and agricultural crops by consuming a large variety of aphid species and other insects.
- Transverse Lady Beetles display aposematism, or bright warning colours, to deter predators.