Now that aphids have returned to my garden, it sure would be nice if the ladybugs could return to start eating them. Wish granted! At least I think so- that is a very strange looking ladybug in the photo above. Let’s look closer…
OK then- TWO ladybugs. The one on top is a Western Blood-red Ladybird Beetle, a frequent visitor to my yard over the past couple of years. The one on the bottom looks a lot like an Asian Spotted Ladybird Beetle- the “M” on the body section before the head (called the pronotum) is an indicator. The “Asian” ladybug was introduced to the U.S. in the 1970’s according to Insects of the Pacific Northwest by Peter and Judy Haggard. Some websites indicate that the Asian species is a threat to the native species, but in this case the little native appears to have the upper hand. I’m not completely sure if this is an act of aggression, but it certainly appears so.
The “Asian” ladybug soon separated itself and wandered off, hopefully in search of aphids to eat. This photo gives us a good view of the black “M”.
This is actually a different Western Blood-red Ladybird Beetle that was staying hidden while the other two did their little dance.