Posts Tagged: Coccinellidae
Have you ever seen the larva of a lady beetle (aka ladybug) dining on an aphid? Lights! Camera!...
An immature lady beetle (larvae) chowing down on an oleander aphid. This photo was taken on a milkweed plant in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A well-fed adult lady beetle (aka ladybug) ignores a fat Oleander aphid. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Just call them the "incredible aphid-eating machines." That would be the lady beetles, commonly...
Lady beetle larva dining on aphids on milkweed, UC Davis campus. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A lady beetle, aka ladybug, tracks down more prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
It's that time of year for a riot of aphids on new growth cheeseweed (malva) and wild radish and with that food source to see ladybird beetles go to town, chowing down. There's ladybugs in both their larval and adult stages doing the feeding. Some of the larvae look like mealybugs which is a food source that they mimic and also feed on. The mealybug destroyers was introduced from Australia at the turn of the 20th century to fight citrus mealybug and when there is no disruption, they are effective at keeping the population down. Another mealybug mimic is the dusky ladybird which also feeds on scales, aphids and mealy bugs. These are generalist predators, even cannibalizing their own, when other food sources are not present. The dusky has not been common in the Ventura area, but recently, PCA Jane Delahoyde spotted one. As our weather changes, we are bound to see other insects and invertebrates move into the area.
Check out this University of Florida ladybug website:
Mealybug-like larval stage surrounded by aphid food (above) and adult (below)
Overhead in the lady's restroom of a restaurant at the Sausalito marina: Mother to daughter:...
A lady beetle, newly rescued from the bathroom of a restaurant in Marin County, crawls on an Iceland poppy in a Solano County bee garden. Freedom! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Which way is up? Which way is down? A rescued lady beetle exploring its surroundings. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Who wouldn't like to have a lady beetle, aka ladybug? Although they're commonly called "ladybugs,"...
A lady beetle crawls on an Iceland poppy stem. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Just as the grass looks greener on the other side, the aphids look fatter on the other side. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A sight not commonly seen: a lady beetle about to take flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A cluster of 24 eggs that a lady beetle deposited on a Passiflora leaf. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)