Beetles, Pacific Northwest
This is one of the most beneficial families of beetles because adults and larvae of most species of Ladybird Beetles feed on pest insects like aphids. A few species like the Mexican bean beetle and the squash beetle are plant-eating and can be major pests of cultivated crops.
Ladybird Beetles are usually rounded or oval in shape and often brightly colored insects. Many ladybird beetles have spots or bands on the front wings, and they have short antennae.
When we were kids and we would see one, we would all say the poem, “Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home, your house is on fire and your children are alone” not sure why we would say that.
Everyone loves seeing them, it must be the colors and peaceful look to them but they are voracious to aphids and in both larvae and adult stage, they consume large amounts of them.
Ladybugs lay eggs by the hundreds where there are aphids or other plant-eating insects. When they hatch, the ladybug larvae feed on aphids with a large appetite. The larvae are elongate and moderately flattened, and they are covered with tubercles or spines and are black with small orange or white markings.
The larvae go through a molt three times before pupating. They attach themselves to leaves, stems or rocks in an orange and black pupa. The newly emerged adult is yellow but its wings soon harden and they begin to get their spots.