Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tufty Hallowe'en bugs

A few weeks ago, I was trying to identify the various species of ladybugs I have been finding. Yesterday, in White Rock, I found a group of what looked like small orange ladybugs. The odd thing was that they didn't move, not even when I pulled away sheltering leaves and brought the camera in close.

Here's why:

Ladybug # 1, blown up to several times its size (around 5 mm). What are those frilly things at the end? And why is it so rumpled-looking?

Ladybug # 2. Blurry, but the "frilly things" are clearer. Nice Hallowe'en colours.

Then I found two of these:

A larva. I looked it up on BugGuide; it's the larva of the common Multicoloured Asian Lady Beetle, Harmonia axyridis, the ones I had blogged about earlier.

Adult Asian Ladybug.

The first two are pupae. The frills at the end are the remains of the discarded larval skin. Look back at the photo of the larva; you can see the tufts, black and white, along the sides and back.

The skin is glued to the surface of the leaf, holding the pupa in place no matter how the wind blows or how curious people wielding cameras yank at the leaves.

There's an interesting photo on BugGuide; a larva just getting ready to pupate. They assume a hunched-over posture, attach themselves to the leaf, then split down the back to allow the pupa to emerge. Both the larvae I saw today, though, were flat on the leaf.


  1. Neato. I see the larvae quite often, but I don't think I've ever seen a pupa. The missing link!

  2. Now all we need to complete the circle is a batch of eggs.


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