Subject: caterpillar or bug?
Location: auckland- new zealand
March 9, 2014 6:57 pm
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!!
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.