Subject: Six -legged gray bug with orangey spots
Location: Piedmont/upstate area of South Carolina – in my yard
May 25, 2016 5:59 pm
I am trying to learn the different garden variety bugs and which ones are beneficial and which ones need to find other living (or not) arrangements.
I don’t indiscriminately destroy any bugs; but I learned my lesson to at least contain unknown ones, even if only long enough to I.D. them.
Last year I found the coolest bug ever in my garden on my tomato plant; however, by the time I could look it up and discover what this beautiful creature was, he had already camouflaged himself! So, one huge green horned tomato worm got a reprieve from instant and permanent eviction.
The attached photo was taken in my front yard while I was trying to identify some plants and came across these guys. I still do not know what the plant is, but there were several ladybugs around too. I only saw three of these gray-orangey spotted critters. The picture of the rolled up one is the bug’s reaction to being surprised. (No gray orangey spotted critter was harmed in the making of these pics)
I hope you can help.
Signature: It’s really buggin me- Dawn
One of the reasons you found nearby Ladybugs is that this is the larva of a Convergent Lady Beetle, Hippodamia convergens, a species we identified on the University of Kentucky Entomology site and then verified on BugGuide. According to BugGuide, they feed upon “Aphids, also whiteflies and other soft bodied insects” that are considered agricultural pests, hence the Convergent Lady Beetle is available through “commercial sales for biological control.”