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What has happened to Bug of the Week? Where has it been? This summer and fall it has been excessively hot and dry. The heat and lack of water has been hard on the trees, hard on the insects, just plain hard.

This week, however, there's been a break in the weather.

Convergent lady beetle at Boyce Thompson Arboretum.

Surprise!

It's great to be back.

Have you found any insects where you live this week?

Back on March 25, 2020, we reported seeing lady beetles.

Two weeks later we found lady beetle larvae.

Any idea what this might be?

lady beetle pupaThis is a lady beetle pupa. Is you look really closely you can see the shed exoskeleton of the larva at the point of attachment.

convergent lady beetle
What kind? Those are convergent lady beetle pupae. Last night this stem had a pupa. Today it has a new adult beetle. Can you see the converging white lines on the thorax that gives it the common name?

If I could only find a few eggs, but it is likely these new adults will migrate to the mountains. Maybe next year...

 

Do you know what this insect on a brittlebush flower is?

Not very attractive is it?

I'll give you a hint. Remember the lady beetles we saw two weeks ago?

This bumpy creature is a lady beetle larva.

Even though people usually can identify an adult lady beetle, not as many people recognize lady beetle larvae. The larvae are impactful, however, because they eat way more aphids than the adults do. Plus, if they survive, they become an adult.

The bottom line is that taking time to identify insects in all their stages and forms is important.