UC Master Gardener Program
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Posts Tagged: lady beetle

Aphid Reunion

The aphids know how to plan a family reunion. 

Grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, mom and pop, brothers and sisters, cousins and more cousins--they're all gathering to feed on the lush growth of the spring roses, the juicy shoots, the tender buds. And they multiply. You think rabbits multiply fast? Try aphids.

A telltale sign of their presence: Crumpled white carcasses and leaves coated with sticky honeydew.

A strong blast of water and the aphids are gone. 

Well, at least some of them.

We watched a sole ladybug, aka ladybeetle, feasting on an aphid buffet on Easter Sunday. So many aphids, and so much time. All the aphids on her menu were green, but they come in yellow, brown and black, too.

The aphids crawled along the rose stems, bumping their cornicles or tubelike structures into one another, unaware of the looming red predator in their midst.

Until it was too late.

Aphid reunion on a rose. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Aphid reunion on a rose. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Aphid reunion on a rose. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of aphids. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Close-up of aphids. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of aphids. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A gorged ladybug has just polished off a row of aphids. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A gorged ladybug has just polished off a row of aphids. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A gorged ladybug has just polished off a row of aphids. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 10:22 PM

An Aphid-Kind of Day

It was an aphid-kind of day.

When a ladybug landed on a gaura in our bee friendly garden, it was business as usual.

The business: eating aphids.

The rose aphids sucking the plant juices from the tender shoot didn't last long. 

This is why ladybugs are known as "beneficial insects."

You gotta love those ladybugs.

Tower of Aphids
Tower of Aphids

A LADYBUG crawls up a gaura to snack on aphids. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Eye to Eye
Eye to Eye

ROSE APHID is unaware that the ladybug is a predator. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Crunch Time
Crunch Time

LADYBUG devours an aphid on a gaura. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, June 28, 2010 at 3:12 PM

The L-Bug

There she was, snuggled beneath a garbage can lid, seeking warmth as temperatures dipped to freezing levels.

She was lucky.

It was City Garbage Pick-Up Day. She could have been trucked to the local landfill had we not rescued her.

Luck be a lady and she was.

The little lady, aka ladybug, aka lady beetle, aka L-bug, survived.

She'll stay in the garden.

The Ladybug
The Ladybug

LUCKY BUG--This ladybug soaks up sunshine after being discovered in a garbage can. Her two-legged rescuers saved her from a trip to the landfill.(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

On the Move
On the Move

ON THE MOVE--The ladybug, her legs a blur, heads out. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Off and Running
Off and Running

OFF AND RUNNING--The ladybug scrambles away to live another day. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, January 5, 2009 at 4:59 PM

Turning Over a New Leaf

For my New Year's resolution, I resolve to turn over a new leaf.

Oh, sure, most folks resolve to eat less, exercise more, drink less, read more, stress less, save more, gripe less, and volunteer more.

Not me.

I'm turning over a new leaf.

You never know what kind of insect you'll find there or what kind of insect will "pose" for you.

Happy New Year! (And may one of your resolutions involve "turning over a new leaf.")

Praying Mantis
Praying Mantis

TURN OVER A NEW LEAF--and there's a praying mantis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Crane Fly
Crane Fly

TURN OVER A NEW LEAF--and there's a crane fly, also known as a mosquito hawk. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ladybug
Ladybug

TURN OVER A NEW LEAF--and there's a ladybug, aka lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 at 4:23 PM

Christmas Bug

If there ever were a Christmas bug, it would be the ladybug, aka lady beetle.

The insects (family Coccinellidae) are brightly colored and spread joy in the garden when they feast on aphids.

Last summer we enjoyed watching them hanging out and hooking up. Their voracious appetites reminded us of holiday diners.

Please pass the aphids!

Ladybug on gardener's glove
Ladybug on gardener's glove

LADYBUG--You should treat the ladybug with kid gloves; it's a beneficial insect. Here a ladybug, aka lady beetle, crawls on a gardener's glove. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Christmas bug
Christmas bug

CHRISTMAS BUG--The ladybug is the perfect Christmas bug--she's brightly colored and spreads joy in the garden when she devours aphids. This one heads for the garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2008 at 1:31 PM

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