Unexpected! Lady bug baby!

Insect Austin bug 1

Weird black bug with a furry red square on its back/abdomen has been enlarged A LOT. It is a Lady bug larva!!!!! Really!!!!!

Insect Austin bug 2

The Asian lady beetle (AKA Asian Lady Bug) larva resembles a small, spiny alligator with a blue-black body and two rows of small, orange to reddish spots on its back. Newly hatched, they are about 1/8 inch long and grow to about 0.5 inches.

When fully grown, the Asian lady beetle larva molts into a pupa then transforms itself into an adult beetle. The pupa is usually attached to a leaf or other substrate near an aphid colony. The pupa is orange with black spots and similar in size and shape to the adult.

Eastern eyed click beetle

insect eastern eyed click beetle

Huge eastern eyed click beetles have arrived! Eye pattern on thorax is very impressive. As scary as they look, they are harmless. Check out their cool antennae! Next time I see one I’ll pick it up and listen for the click sound! I often pick up small click beetles that get into the kitchen because it is amazing to hear their click sound in my hand as I carry them outdoors.

The “Panda” Factor

Insect ladybug

My son calls it “the deadly cuteness”…when a creature is totally irresistible- like a panda. To me, a ladybug is the ‘panda’ of the beetle family. If you think there is a cuter beetle, please let me know. One ladybug can eat more than 50 aphids in a day and more than 5000 in a lifetime! They also eat scale insects and plant mites so they are very popular with gardeners. During the Middle Ages, insects were destroying crops. Catholic farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary for help. Ladybugs came to their rescue. The farmers called them “The Beetles of Our Lady” and their current names evolved from there.  The rest of the English-speaking world calls them ladybirds. FYI, boy ladybugs are called ladybugs also.