Sep 17, 2008

Ugly Duckling

Anja wanted to share a woeful tale and these photos in an endeavor to spare the lives of very beneficial creatures.

One of her friends came across some insects like these, was horrified, grabbed a can of raid, and killed them all. When Anja found out, she was horrified. Little did that friend know that the little uglies she eradicated were actually the grubs of the beloved ladybug (aka ladybird).

That's right, you may find these creatures in your yard. If you do, leave them be. They are something of the ugly duckling of the insect world. Let them amble about, pupate, and emerge as one of the 5,000 varieties of ladybugs, most of which are beneficial to crops and plants (some can be destructive, but those are very much in the minority). Why's that? Well, during the course of this beetle's weeks-long lifespan, it will eat as many as 5,000 aphids or similar pests.

Thanks for the photos, Anja. Don't let your friend beat herself up too much. We all make mistakes.


Anonymous said...

Wow, it's amazing how unalike those two grubs are. Wombat, now you're definitely providing a public service. If I see any of these Uglies, I will be sure to make miniature cups of tea and invite them in for a rest.

Nan said...

Re: ladybug larvae.

They do look ugly, and the suckers BITE!! Still, brush them off gently if they climb on ya.