This week let’s take another look at the diverse community of insects found on the rush or desert milkweed.
What do you see here? Probably the first things you notice are the bright orange-yellow aphids. Those are oleander aphids.
But, what is the insect with the bright white fluffy look?
The insect that looks like a tiny white carpet is actually a lady beetle larva. Instead of the bright red-and-black lady beetles we usually think of, this larva will turn into a small dark brown or black beetle.
These nondescript beetles belong to a group called dusky lady beetles (Tribe Scymnini). The adults are round in shape, like other lady beetles, and feed on aphids, scales and mealybugs, too. The main difference is that the larvae produce a white waxy coating, which is thought to help protect them from predators.
Have you ever spot an adult dusky lady beetle or a larva? Where did you find it?