Subject: Unfamiliar Bug
Location: Long Island, New York
June 2, 2012 1:36 pm
Hey I came across this bug while replacing the boards on my deck, it was just hanging out on a piece of the new lumber. Today (June 2)about a week later I saw it again but this time on one of our plants. I was hoping that you might be able to help identify it. I did a general internet search trying to use as many descriptors as a could but I was unable to find it. Thanks for your help !!!
This is the larva of a Lady Beetle or Ladybug, and very few people would be able to recognize the larva though the adult is quite familiar to even the youngest child. We are relatively confident this is the larva of the Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle, a species that has been in the news quite a bit in recent years. This introduced species is believed to be responsible for the drop in populations of our native Lady Beetle species, since it has so readily adapted to living in North America and its numbers are greatly increasing. This is detrimental to species diversity. Though it is beneficial in the sense that like most other Lady Beetles, both adults and larvae consume great quantities of Aphids and other plant pests, it is highly problematic that it is crowding out and competing for food with our native species. Additionally, the Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle has gained notoriety in that they often enter homes in great numbers to hibernate, creating quite a nuisance for persnickety homemakers. Much more information on the Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle can be found on BugGuide.