Minute Monster – the immature ladybug

9 Jul
Baby ladybugs!

Baby lady beetles munching aphids.

Another picture from right in my backyard!  Unlike their pretty and popular adult form, ladybug larvae look a bit like they ought to be featuring as monsters in a horror movie, and they are indeed fearsome predators.  (At least of the very tiny.)  But just like grown up ladybugs these strange critters are the gardener’s friend, since their favorite prey are aphids.  Another trait they have in common with adult lady beetles is their bright coloration.  This aposematic, or warning, coloration serves to alert predators that they are not good to eat, due to the toxic chemicals they sequester in their bodies.

Lady beetles belong to the family Coccinellidae, which takes it name from the word coccus, meaning circular, due to the adult beetle’s nearly circular shape.  They are also generally almost flat on the bottom, allowing them to draw their legs under their armored exoskeleton and fit almost perfectly against a plant surface when under attack.

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4 Responses to “Minute Monster – the immature ladybug”

  1. Mauro Mandrioli January 31, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    Great photo!!! Which type of macrolens are you using? I would like to buy a macrolens and aphid will be one of my favourite targets.

    • 6legs2many January 31, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

      Actually, I don’t have a macro lens yet! That’s on my wish list, too. 🙂 I have a Sony DSC-H5 that I bought used, and I get by with just the macro setting, although close ups like this only rarely come out so nicely in focus for me.

      • Mauro Mandrioli February 1, 2012 at 2:10 am #

        Incredible…. a really nice work!!! A very good focus!!!

  2. Maya October 18, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    Hello, are the little bugs in that photo also baby ladybugs? I have a ladybug infestation, and there are also little bugs that look like the little ones in your photo. I’m trying to figure out if they are little ladybugs or little cockroaches (I hope not!). Thanks!

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