At first glance, ladybug larva look a little menacing, resembling tiny, spiky alligators with a few bright spots of yellow or orange. However, they do a great service in the garden, consuming hundreds of aphids and other pests in two to three weeks.
Ladybugs are actually beetles in the family Coccinellidae, meaning "little sphere", referring to the bright red bodies of the adults. There are about 5,000 species of ladybug or ladybird beetles worldwide and about 400 in North America.
They are the official insect of Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio and Tennessee. (Virginia's official insect is the tiger swallowtail butterfly which is, of course, the logo of the Old Rag Master Naturalists).
Ladybird beetle attacking a Colorado potato beetle larvae.
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