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I Didn’t Know That!

By Donnetta Wilhelm, Colorado Master Gardener

Hello, gardener and distressed sprayer of insecticide. Have you met me? I am just a teenager, and like human teenagers, I have a voracious appetite. I am a lady beetle larva. I feast on aphids, scales, spider mites, and mealybugs, just to name a few. My parents also eat what I eat, although they also feed on pollen, nectar, and honeydew. I have normal teen angst and, ugh, I’m-so-misunderstood! I’m still developing, so like human teenagers, I’m going through the awkward stage that scares gardeners. Please put away the insecticide when you see me and be patient with me and my 70 species of friends found in our regular hangout of Colorado. Give me a chance to develop and become a beautiful, productive adult that you will enjoy having around. Click here to read all about me as an adult.

l to r: Hippodamia convergens, Harmonia axyridis, Coccinella septempunctata, Adalia bipunctata
Photos: Hippodamia convergens (Convergent lady beetle larvae) Susan Ellis / Harmonia axyridis (Multicolored Asian lady beetle larvae) Winston Beck, Iowa State University / Coccinella septempunctata (Sevenspotted lady beetle larvae) Russ Ottens, Georgia State University / Adalia bipunctata (Twospotted lady beetle larvae) Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University 

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