The orange-spotted ladybird, Coccinella leonina, is native to Aotearoa. It’s a beautiful little bug with a shiny black shell covered in yellow-orange spots. Orange-spotted ladybirds are a medium-sized ladybird, growing up to 5.5mm long.
You can find them in both the North and South Islands, but they aren’t found anywhere further north than Auckland on the mainland. One theory is that an introduced ladybird species has pushed them out as they are present on some northern offshore islands. They love tussock grasslands, native bush, pasture and cropland and are particularly common on Banks Peninsula.
September is business time for this ladybird! Once a female has found a mate, she’ll lay up to 30 eggs a day in a cluster on the underside of a leaf. One female can lay a whopping 1600-3800 eggs in her lifetime! They can live for a couple of months to over a year.
Like most other ladybirds, this beautiful little critter is a predator and is a great help in the home garden. An adult ladybird can happily munch 100 aphids in a day and the larvae can eat their bodyweight in aphids in a day. They also eat other bugs as well as certain fungi and plants.
Check these links for more info on Orange-Spotted Ladybird Beetles in NZ
iNaturalist.nz: Observations of Coccinella leonina
Wikipedia: Information on Coccinella leonina
Kids Encyclopedia Facts: Coccinella leonina facts for kids
Click on the image to visit the official iNaturalist.nz observation.