UC Master Gardener Program
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Posts Tagged: lady beetle

Lady Beetles: The First Ladies of the Garden Having a Ball

A lady beetle feasts on aphids on a milkweed plant, Gomphocarpus physocarpus, also known as balloon-plant milkweed or hairy balls. Note the spiky hairs. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

See those red spots on your milkweed seed pods? Lady beetles (aka ladybugs or "garden heroes") are feasting on aphids. And they're having a ball. We've been watching the critters on our milkweed, Gomphocarpus physocarpus, for the last couple of...

Posted on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at 4:17 PM

Do 'Cats Eat Other 'Cats? Do Larva Eat Other Larva?

A lady beetle larva attacking and eating a syrphid fly larva. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

It's a dog-eat-dog world out there. It's also a 'cat-eat-'cat world, that is, when a caterpillar eats another caterpillar. Or in this case, when larva eats larva. We recently spotted this lady beetle larva eating a syrphid fly larva on our yellow...

Posted on Monday, June 5, 2017 at 4:54 PM

A Chance Encounter with an Ichneumon

A lady beetle meeets a male parasitic wasp from the family Ichneumonidae. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

So here's this lady beetle patrolling a rosebud. It's early spring--April 15--in Vacaville, Calif.--and our little subject is  looking for some tasty aphids. Or perhaps a mate. Oh, a visitor is on my rosebud, heading right toward me. Identify...

Posted on Monday, April 17, 2017 at 5:44 PM

Can Lady Beetle Larvae Eat Aphids?

Close-up of a lady beetle larva eating an aphid. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Can the larvae of lady beetles (aka ladybugs) eat aphids? Yes, they can.  And yes, they do. We spotted some lady beetle larvae on our yellow roses today and guess what they were doing? Right, eating aphids. Eating lots of aphids. The larvae...

Posted on Friday, April 14, 2017 at 5:43 PM

The Hitchhiker

A lady beetle picks up a hitchhiker, an oleander aphid. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Oleander aphids, those cartoonish-looking yellow insects with black legs and cornicles, are commonly found on oleanders. Hence their name. But they also are partial to milkweeds, the host plant of the monarch butterfly. It's a daily challenge to...

Posted on Tuesday, August 4, 2015 at 8:10 PM

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