This Is a Ladybug

These are ladybugs. Fierce devourers of all things aphid.

This is also a ladybug.

It is in its nymph form, which differs so much from our classic beloved little red lady beetle that often a terrible tragedy is set into motion. Fearing that the strange creature might be something dangerous to a Homo sapiens or, even worse, to a precious Gardenus plantus, the gardener ignorantly but very intentionally murders it.

Have you ever imagined how many ladybugs could have, would have been? Think about all the uneaten aphids that gardener unleashed upon the world. Egads!

Now, these are also ladybugs.

They are younger than nymph stage.

This, on the other hand, is NOT a lady bug.

It is a Spotted Cucumber Beetle. You might know its larval form as the (eek) Southern Corn Rootworm. Doesn’t that just sound bad? It is. Feel free to pluck it. After it destroys your corn as a baby, as an adult it WILL suck your plants into raisins. And it will feast on the rotten bananas you leave out for your butterflies. Those bananas make a good lure, actually.

And these are…

Well… you know.

© 2011 – 2012, Meredith O’Reilly. All rights reserved. This article is the property of BeautifulWildlifeGarden.com We have received many requests to reprint our work. Our policy is that you are free to use a short excerpt which must give proper credit to the author, and must include a link back to the original post on our site. Please use the contact form above if you have any questions.

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Comments

  1. says

    I see ladybugs here. Obviously, I have a lot of food (aphids) for them! But, I need to be on the lookout for the nymph stage. I think I’m a little different than most – I try not to kill any bugs because I don’t want to hurt any beneficial ones.
    Holley recently posted..Pop!

    • says

      Holley: you may have seen some ladybug larvae and pupae and not realized what they were. Many people don’t recognize them because they look so different from the adults. They may even be killing them by mistake. Luckily you are smart enough not to do that. To get acquainted with ladybug earlier stages, I suggest that you look at these pages: http://bugguide.net/node/view/225381/bgimage and http://bugguide.net/node/view/225381.
      Just remember that there are several hundreds species of ladybugs (482 to be precise) in North America. It isn’t easy to know them all.
      It is also good to remember that Syrphid flies, lacewings, assassin bugs, parasitic wasps and a few other creatures also devour aphids.
      Beatriz Moisset recently posted..Nectar- drink with a zing

  2. says

    What a great post Meredith! It’s so important to look at ALL of the stages of an insect’s life as you have shown us they appear very different. I do see lots of lady bug eggs on the undersides of leaves in the spring and have learned how important they are to having aphid free plants!

  3. Donna B. says

    The last photo is leading to the third! Hehe!
    Ever since I’ve seen what a ladybug juvenile looks like, I’ve been keeping my eye out… sadly I don’t see a lot of them – hopefully they’re there and I’m just not looking hard enough. I want more beneficials that will hunt down my most dreaded nemesis:
    Squash Borers!!!
    ::cue sinister music::

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