I was excited to find your site. It’s very useful and well done. Today I was looking at my apple tree and found these little guys on a leaf. Thinking that they are ladybugs I thought I would put them under a rose bush since it seems that a caterpillar tent has hatched right there without my knowing it until now. And there’s lots of aphids too. I looked up ladybugs and found that their larvae looks different than the little ones in this photo. Do you know what these bugs are?
You are correct, they are not Ladybird Beetles. They are True Bugs, Hemipterans. We can’t give you an exact identification. It is hard to identify the specimen in immature stage. There is a Family of True Bugs known as Red Bugs or Stainers, Pyrrhocoridae. They are described by Borror and Delong as "elongate oval bugs that are usually brightly marked with red and black. … They are phytophagous and gregarious." In other words, they are ravenous plant pests. They are common in the South.