Currently viewing the category: "Lady Bug"
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Subject: Ask What’s This Bug?
Location: Lake Balboa in Van Nuys, in the San Fernando Valley part of Los Angeles, California
April 14, 2014 8:40 am
Hi, my friends and I were at Lake Balboa in Van Nuys, in the San Fernando Valley part of Los Angeles, California. We thought we were taking photos of an orange ladybug. But when I enlarged my shot, I started thinking that this is like no ladybug I’ve seen. Can you tell me what kind of bug it is?
Signature: Helaine

Lady Beetle Pupa

Lady Beetle Pupa

Hi Helaine,
Your first impression was actually correct.  This is the pupa of a Lady Beetle.  We are not certain which species, but we are relatively confident it is not the pupa of the invasive Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle.

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Subject: Potato Beetle?
Location: Austin, TX
April 8, 2014 9:46 pm
Hello,
These bugs have shown up in the last few days. We have had some heavy rains, and today was the first day of sunshine, so this might be why I haven’t noticed them until now. Some are reddish/orange and some are blue. They are the size of ladybugs but do not look like ladybugs. There are at least 300 of these bugs that have attached themselves to the fence in my backyard. We have recently planted our summer garden, full of vegetables and flowers, and I am worried these guys might start to munch, before I have a chance to! Please help!!
Signature: Samantha G

Seven Spotted Lady Beetle Larva

Seven Spotted Lady Beetle Larva

lady beetle (aka Ladybug) larva and pupa

Seven Spotted Lady Beetle Pupa

Seven Spotted Lady Beetle Pupa

So these are not harmful to the garden, more helpful?

Hi Samantha,
Since you wrote back, we decided to spend a bit more time on both the identification and our response, and to create a posting.  With the number of requests we receive, we are only able to post a small fraction of emails and images, but we are able to respond to more with quick replies, like the original and very general answer you got from us.  We don’t immediately recognize all species upon viewing images, but we can give general answers that might only reach a broader taxonomic category.  Our original answer was to the family level, and we could have also supplied you with a quick second response that yes, your Lady Beetles are not harmful in the garden because they eat Aphids and other small plant pests.  Curiosity got the best of us though, and we decided to try to identify your species of Lady Beetle.  The larva is that of a Seven Spotted Lady Beetle,
Coccinella septempunctata, as evidenced by this image on BugGuide.   Sadly, it is not a native species.  According to BugGuide:  “It has been repeatedly introduced in the US from Europe, to control aphids.  This widespread palearctic species was intentionally introduced into N. America several times from 1956 to 1971 for biological control of aphids. All of those attempts apparently failed in getting C. septempunctata established, but in 1973 an established population was found in Bergen Co., New Jersey. This population is thought to have been the result of an accidental introduction rather than a purposeful one (Angalet and Jacques, 1975). Since 1973, this species has spread naturally and been colonized and established in Delaware, Georgia, and Oklahoma. (Gordon 1985) It has since spread throughout N. Amer.”  We are not alone in fearing that native Lady Beetles are being rapidly displaced by other more vigorous introduced Lady Beetles, most notably the Multicolored Asian Lady Beetles, Harmonia axyridis, which have become pests in some areas because they enter homes in great numbers to hibernate.  They are even known to prey upon native Lady Beetles.  Your Seven Spotted Lady Beetle, though introduced, is nowhere near the problem that the Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle represents.  Your pupa is also that of a Seven Spotted Lady Beetle as evidenced by this image on BugGuide.  In your case, they are more beneficial than a problem in the garden.  The concept of introduced species displacing native species is a significant issue as global travel becomes ever easier for people and the critters that travel with them, either purposefully or accidentally.

Thank you,
I appreciate the response!
Samantha

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: a couple of strange bugs
Location: southern nevada
April 6, 2014 11:48 pm
okay bug number 1 we found playing wit the cat, we’re assuming it’s some kind of lady bug but we’re just curious.
bug number 2 is a bigger issue, it is the 25th of its kind to be found in one of our bedrooms within the last couple months. this bedroom also houses two cockatiels and two bearded dragons, if that could help with identifying it.
Signature: thank you!

Ashy Gray Lady Beetle:  Black Variation

Ashy Gray Lady Beetle: Black Variation

You are correct that this is a Lady Beetle, more specifically, an Ashy Gray Lady Beetle, Olla v-nigrum, in its black variation, which you can verify thanks to this image on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Gray with black spots, or black with two red spots.  This species has two basic color variants that are strikingly different and I have seen little evidence of intergradation between the variants.”  Your other insect identification request is an Indian Meal Moth and this species infests stored grains.  It might have infested the cockatiel seed.

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Subject: Bloodsucker
Location: Texas
March 18, 2014 2:29 pm
What type of bug/mite is this? It was feeding on my boyfriend.
Signature: Soni

Mealybug Destroyer

Mealybug Destroyer

Dear Soni,
Please provide some clarification.  What do you mean “feeding” on your boyfriend?  Though your images are extremely blurry, this appears to be a type of Lady Beetle known as a Mealybug Destroyer,
Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, and though it is possible to be bitten by a Lady Beetle, we would not consider them to be Bloodsuckers.  The Mealybug Destroyer is native to Australia, and according to BugGuide, it was:  “Imported to the US from Australia in 1891 to control citrus mealybugs in California. Widely used for control of citrus and long-tailed mealybugs, soft scales and related pests. Will not survive cold winters, so it is mostly used in greenhouses or mild-winter areas, or has to be introduced annually.”  Though we have several images of the larvae of Mealybug Destroyers in our archives, these are the first images of the adult beetles we have received.

Mealybug Destroyer

Mealybug Destroyer

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Strange Ladybug behavior (keeps walking in circles)
Location: Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico
March 11, 2014 4:45 pm
Hi Bugman,
A week ago from now, I found a ladybug in our backyard that could only walk in circles. It was in direct sunlight, just going round and round, so I decided to do something to prevent a likely death from dehydration, and brought it inside.
It’s been with me for the last 7 days, and I have been feeding it small insects when I can, and when I can’t, it seems to enjoy feeding on rice and sugar. I’ve also been keeping a wet Q-tip in its “cage”. But after 7 days, even when it seems to still be in good health, it is still going round and round, and hasn’t stopped.
Just yesterday, I noticed that it began to walk in straight segments for the first time, but each straight run would still always end up in turning back and completing a loop. It also will not fly, although sometimes it extends its wings a bit.
So, my question is not what kind of bug this is, but rather, why is it displaying such bizarre behavior. All of its legs are intact and move fluidly. Is it possible that it was just born crazy somehow? Was its nervous system damaged by a pesticide possibly? As far as I know, there are no pesticides in our backyard.
I found a video on youtube of another person who observed the exact same behavior:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiA1wZI1oSI
And here’s a video of my own ladybug the moment I found it:
http://www.2yr.net/VIDEO0089.mp4
This behavior is beyond my comprehension! It seems so purposeless and suicidal of it to behave like that…
Signature: Humberto

Ladybird Beetle

Ladybird Beetle

Dear Humberto,
We don’t know the answer to your question, but we will post your submission, feature it on our web page, and hope that someone writes in who can provide some information.  We pondered the possibility of some sort of parasite, and though we discovered there is a Wasp that parasitizes a Lady Beetle, turning it into a “zombie bodyguard”, the walking in circles behavior is not mentioned.  See Science Daily for an account of the wasp parasitization.

Update:  March 16, 2014
Hello,
Thank you so much for your kind response, Mr. Marlos! Here’s an update: The ladybug escaped a few days ago, but was recaptured about 12 hours later. I have recently discovered aphids in our rose plants, and brought a good few into the ladybug’s enclosure, where it has been feasting on them. It is still going in circles though. The first 4 days, the circles it was making were fairly uniform, but now they sometimes distend into straight segments. I have learned a lot about ladybugs just by observing this one. If she stops running in circles before her normal lifespan is over, I will be sure to let you know. I read the article you linked, which was fascinating, but I’m afraid I don’t know how to tell if this ladybug has ever been parasitized.
Thank you! I’m glad to hear I’ve reported on something that was unheard of (I wouldn’t want to send any trivial questions!).
Cheers!
-Humberto

Thanks for the update Humberto.  We look forward to any additional observations you might have.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: caterpillar or bug?
Location: auckland- new zealand
March 9, 2014 6:57 pm
Hi There!
Just found a huge hoard of these new bugs on our zucchini plant leaves- only the leaves in the shade but covering the top and bottom of the leaves.
Its nearing the end of the summer here and the only other life to be found on the zucchini are bright yellow and black lady bugs.
the biggest of these bugs is about 1 cm long and the smallest is about 1 mm
Look forward to finding out what this is!!
Signature: Thanks

Fungus Eating Ladybird Larva

Fungus Eating Ladybird Larva

This is the larva of a beneficial Fungus Eating Ladybird Beetle, which will eventually transform into the “bright yellow and black Lady Bugs” you mentioned.  We quickly learned this information on the Aussie Organic Gardening page on powdery mildew on zucchini where the life stages of the Fungus Eating Ladybird are compared to the 26 Spot Ladybird which feeds on the leaves.  The Brisbane Insect website provided us with the scientific name Illeis galbula and the information:  “The Fungus-eating Ladybird larvae grow up to 8-10mm.  They are creamy white in colour with lines of black dots on their back. They are usually found feeding those black mold or fungus on leaves. The larvae runs very fast when disturbed. Larvae feed only on powdery mildew type of  fungus (Oidium sp., Erysiphales) which infecting various plants.”  We would love for you to send us photos of the adult Fungus Eating Ladybird as well.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination