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Cooperative Extension San Joaquin County

Posts Tagged: ladybugs

The Incredible Aphid-Eating Machines

Lady beetle larva dining on aphids on milkweed, UC Davis campus. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Just call them the "incredible aphid-eating machines." That would be the lady beetles, commonly known as ladybugs (although they are not bugs; they're beetles belonging to the family Coccinellidae, and they're not all "ladies"--some are male!). How...

Lady beetle larva dining on aphids on milkweed, UC Davis campus. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Lady beetle larva dining on aphids on milkweed, UC Davis campus. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Lady beetle larva dining on aphids on milkweed, UC Davis campus. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A lady beetle, aka ladybug, tracks down more prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A lady beetle, aka ladybug, tracks down more prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A lady beetle, aka ladybug, tracks down more prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2018 at 5:38 PM

The Year 2017: 'Survival of the Flittest'

Have you ever seen a male long-horned bee (Melissodes agilis) doing a protective fly-by, trying to save a food source for the female of his species? (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

How would you describe the year 2017? Survival of the fittest? In the insect world, it's more like "survival of the flittest." If you've ever pulled up a chair in a pollinator garden and sat back and observed all the activity, sometimes it's like road...

Have you ever seen a male long-horned bee (Melissodes agilis) doing a protective fly-by, trying to save a food source for the female of his species? (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Have you ever seen a male long-horned bee (Melissodes agilis) doing a protective fly-by, trying to save a food source for the female of his species? (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Have you ever seen a male long-horned bee (Melissodes agilis) doing a protective fly-by, trying to save a food source for the female of his species? (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Have you ever seen a male long-horned bee (Melissodes agilis) challenging a Western tiger swallowtail seeking nectar from a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia)?(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Have you ever seen a male long-horned bee (Melissodes agilis) challenging a Western tiger swallowtail seeking nectar from a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia)?(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Have you ever seen a male long-horned bee (Melissodes agilis) challenging a Western tiger swallowtail seeking nectar from a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia)?(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Have you ever seen a Melissodes agilis targeting a Western tiger swallowtail? A tiger by the tail? (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Have you ever seen a Melissodes agilis targeting a Western tiger swallowtail? A tiger by the tail? (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Have you ever seen a Melissodes agilis targeting a Western tiger swallowtail? A tiger by the tail? (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Have you ever seen a syrphid fly targeting a honeydew-laden lady beetle, aka ladybug, on a rose? This is an Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis) and a syrphid fly, a Scaeva pyrastri, according to Martin Hauser of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Have you ever seen a syrphid fly targeting a honeydew-laden lady beetle, aka ladybug, on a rose? This is an Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis) and a syrphid fly, a Scaeva pyrastri, according to Martin Hauser of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Have you ever seen a syrphid fly targeting a honeydew-laden lady beetle, aka ladybug, on a rose? This is an Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis) and a syrphid fly, a Scaeva pyrastri, according to Martin Hauser of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Have you ever seen a honey bee and bumble bee racing for the nectar on catmint (Nepeta)? The bumble bee is a Bombus melanopygus.(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Have you ever seen a honey bee and bumble bee racing for the nectar on catmint (Nepeta)? The bumble bee is a Bombus melanopygus.(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Have you ever seen a honey bee and bumble bee racing for the nectar on catmint (Nepeta)? The bumble bee is a Bombus melanopygus.(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Friday, December 29, 2017 at 11:13 AM

Ladybug, Ladybug, Fly Away Home!

A lady beetle positions itself on a tropical milkweed leaf, poised  for flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ladybug!  Ladybug!Fly away home.Your house is on fireAnd your children are gone. How many times have you heard that nursery rhyme? Better yet, how many times have you seen a lady beetle (because they're beetles, not bugs) take off? Look closely...

A lady beetle positions itself on a tropical milkweed leaf, poised  for flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A lady beetle positions itself on a tropical milkweed leaf, poised for flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A lady beetle positions itself on a tropical milkweed leaf, poised for flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

All systems go! The lady beetle opens its elytra, revealing its wings. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
All systems go! The lady beetle opens its elytra, revealing its wings. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

All systems go! The lady beetle opens its elytra, revealing its wings. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ready for liftoff? This lady beetle is good to go. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Ready for liftoff? This lady beetle is good to go. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ready for liftoff? This lady beetle is good to go. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

And we're off! The lady beetle spreads its wings and is off. Photos taken with 105mm lens on Nikon D500; ISO 2000; shutter speed, 1/1000, and f-stop 16. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
And we're off! The lady beetle spreads its wings and is off. Photos taken with 105mm lens on Nikon D500; ISO 2000; shutter speed, 1/1000, and f-stop 16. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

And we're off! The lady beetle spreads its wings and is off. Photos taken with 105mm lens on Nikon D500; ISO 2000; shutter speed, 1/1000, and f-stop 16. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Insect Wedding Photography in a Rose Garden

Love in the rose garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

"I do! I do! I do!" Some of us engage in wedding photography. Not with humans. With insects. All you need is a bride, a groom and a…hmm…bedroom. That could be a leafy green bedroom in the rose garden where the lady beetles, aka ladybugs,...

Love in the rose garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Love in the rose garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Love in the rose garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Bridal couple heads for some privacy. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Bridal couple heads for some privacy. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Bridal couple heads for some privacy. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Don't let a thorn get in your way. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Don't let a thorn get in your way. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Don't let a thorn get in your way. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The view is better over here. I think I see an aphid. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The view is better over here. I think I see an aphid. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The view is better over here. I think I see an aphid. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Just need a pillow of rose petals for the night. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey. All images taken with a Nikon D800 and a macro lens, 105mm)
Just need a pillow of rose petals for the night. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey. All images taken with a Nikon D800 and a macro lens, 105mm)

Just need a pillow of rose petals for the night. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey. All images taken with a Nikon D800 and a macro lens, 105mm)

Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 5:15 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 look...

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

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

From a distance, you can see the ladybug larva and a lot of aphids on this yellow rose. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
From a distance, you can see the ladybug larva and a lot of aphids on this yellow rose. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

From a distance, you can see the ladybug larva and a lot of aphids on this yellow rose. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A multicolored Asian lady beetle prowls a yellow rose bush in search of aphids. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A multicolored Asian lady beetle prowls a yellow rose bush in search of aphids. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A multicolored Asian lady beetle prowls a yellow rose bush in search of aphids. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The lady beetle lays her tiny eggs in clusters beneath a leaf. These are probably the eggs of a multicolored Asian lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The lady beetle lays her tiny eggs in clusters beneath a leaf. These are probably the eggs of a multicolored Asian lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The lady beetle lays her tiny eggs in clusters beneath a leaf. These are probably the eggs of a multicolored Asian lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

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