Lady Beetle – Lady Bug Confusion
Location: Los Angeles, California
March 13, 2012 6:14 pm
Recently, I’ve seen a lot of ladybugs on my rooftop, but it wasn’t until today I noticed these little guys. While I found some information on your site, I’m confused if there is a relationship between what looks like two very different insects. Moreover, while I don’t mind them, please let me know if there is any reason to curb their spread due to overcrowding. Thank you so much for the informative site!
Lady Bug is a common name that has no taxonomical relevance since the beloved insects are not bugs, but beetles. Lady Beetle would be a more correct common name. This is the larva of a Lady Beetle. The plant upon which your photos were taken shows evidence of Aphids, a common food for both adult and larval Lady Beetles. Aphids are significant pests on many cultivated plants and the Lady Beetles help to control their populations naturally without pesticides. You do not need to worry about overcrowded Lady Beetle larvae since their numbers have a direct relationship to the populations of the Aphids they feed upon. It appears that your larva is that of the Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle, Harmonia axyridis, an introduced species that has spread throughout North America. The problem with introduced species is that they compete with native species for food and they can displace natives and contribute to the decline of species diversity. Native Lady Beetle are becoming rarer since the introduction of the Multicolored Asian Lady Beetles. See BugGuide for a matching photo and additional informationon the Multicolored Asian LAdy Beetle.
Thank you so very much for taking the time for the very informative information—I am truly appreciative for the detail and the service you and your team provide. This is fascinating and I’m relieved to hear I need not doing anything as do love the “Lady Beetle”. I will research the difference between the Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle and the native species for additional knowledge. I also learned/confirmed from your site that I do in fact have the carpet beetle (not so cute, but so so tiny)—I had to laugh as I somehow always associated them with food, despite the fact that as your site notes, I typically find them near window sills—they never do get out, but I will do my best to escort them outside and do a better vacuum job around the sofa I believe is the culprit.
Thank you again,