I returned home last weekend to find my rose bush laden with aphids. A quick search of my garden located a lady bug which I then "transplanted" onto a stem of the rose bush. From the photo it can be identified as a 7 spotted lady bug. I found a dozen more lady bugs and carried them to the bush where each remained on top of its own rose stem. Since this was my first attempt to fight aphids with lady bugs rather than to zap them with an insecticide, I became more and more enthralled with watching the daily activities on my rose bush. Then I noticed "worms" appearing. From what I had read about lady bugs, the larvae were described as looking like alligators, but my larvae don’t have that appearance. Is this because they are relatively young and in beginning stages of being "larvae" or am I looking at something entirely different. One of the photos shows a larva on a leaf. The other photo I took to show how the large was wrapped around the twig. Just as I snapped the photo, an aphid crawled past and the larva snatched it up and is shown eating it. To make a long message short, are the two larvae in the photos actually lady bug larvae? I love your web site!!!! Thank you for your help
|Syrphid Fly Larva||7 Spot Ladybird|
No. Your larvae are not Ladybird Larvae. They are Syrphid Fly Larvae, and they are a wonderful biological control agent against Aphids, as are Ladybirds. Lacewings are also marvelous. If the Aphids ever become too numerous for the predators, a jet of water from the hose will knock them off the plant and without a food source, the wingless young will perish. Thanks for the great letter and the accompanying photos. We have photos of Ladybird Larvae on our Ladybug page.
Dear (Bugman), Yesterday I went you photos regarding the ladybird larvae which turned out to be syrphid fly larvae. Thank you so much for your response and your answer. I think your site is one of the most helpful I have ever seen…. so personal and interactive! I am a Master Gardener and webmaster for the University of Missouri Master Gardener’s website for Southwest Missouri http://www.extension.missouri.edu/greene/mgg/. I would like your permission to add your site to our link page. Please let me know if this is feasible.