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Posts Tagged ‘Harlequin Ladybug’

There always seems to be something fun and whimsical about ladybugs, like this one that I spotted last Saturday at Occoquan Regional Park. This is probably an invasive Harlequin Lady Beetle (Harmonia axyridis), rather than a native ladybug, but I still find it to be beautiful.

The Harlequin Lady Beetles, also known as Multicolored Asian Lady Beetles, may assist with control of some aphid pests, but may also harm native and beneficial insects and are considered by many to be pests.

My interests tend to be primarily photographic, so I tend not to make distinctions between weeds and flowers or between native and invasive species in the way that others, such as gardeners and farmers, may need to do. I am trying to capture my subjects as well as I can and I am pretty happy with the way this particular image turned out, given the small size of the ladybug and the fact that it was moving about as I was trying to get a shot.

ladybug

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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We’ll have more ladybugs in our neighborhood even sooner than I expected.

My neighbor and photography mentor, Cindy Dyer, has ladybug larvae in her garden as I showed in a recent posting. Some of them have already entered the pupa stage, the final stage before adulthood. Once metamorphosis is complete, the shell splits open and a full-grown ladybug emerges. Initially, the shell is soft, but pretty rapidly the exoskeleton hardens and takes on the look that we associate with ladybugs.

Here’s a photo from today of a ladybug pupa. I think that it is probably from a Harlequin Ladybug (Harmonia axyridis), a type that is also known as the Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle. If you want to know more about the life cycle of a ladybug, check out the posting that I did last fall entitled Baby Ladybugs.

larva2_web

Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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