Arboretum Insects 3

Returned to the LA Arboretum this weekend for a bit of photogging with a friend. The weather was a bit chilly and humid, so subjects were difficult to locate. However, we did find a few insects that we haven’t seen before. Although adult ladybugs have been easy to spot the last couple of weeks in the beds of low-lying plants, the ladybug larva haven’t made any public appearances. Ladybug larvae look radically different than their adult form. They spend only 2-4 weeks in this stage, growing and molting as they eat, until they transform into a pupa - the last stage before reaching the age to vote in insect elections and whatnot. So if you miss that 2-4 week window, you’ll never realize that the cute little multi-spotted ladybug adult you’re holding (if you’re indeed holding one) once looked like a spiked black and orange dragon!

Unbeknownst to this slow-moving larva, it was being used as a means of transportation for a brave aphid (see red arrow in photo below). Among being small and green, they are also a major food source for ladybugs.

Here are some more photos from this weekend’s trip to the arboretum:

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