Discovering a hidden haven in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria, Australia

It’s a classic case of ‘better late than never’, but the cavalry has arrived in the rose garden. A couple of days I was out mooching around the garden (I seem to do that a lot lately) and I found this…

Yellow Shouldered Ladybird...hairy, isn't it?!

Now this little creature is tiny even by ladybird standards, probably only about 4 or 5mm long, so I had to look very closely before I even decided it was a ladybird!

Same bug, better perspective of size against rose leaf. Thanks to David for the photo!

We haven’t noticed one of these before, but it turns out it is Apolinus lividigaster,Β  The Yellow Shouldered Ladybird which is a native Australian Ladybird. These little ladybird don’t waste their time eating anything else, they just like eating aphids! Yay!

Next we discovered some even better news, one of the ladybirds that had visited recently was a Mum. We know this because we have ladybird larvae busily eating aphids too. So she was a timely arrival with a lovely gift for Mother’s Day πŸ˜€

What we don’t know yet is if Mum was a Yellow Shouldered Ladybird or a different type. The photos I’ve found of the larvae of Yellow Shouldered Ladybirds look to have different markings to the ones below, so I think we have a different ladybird at work here. We are hoping to see them pupate so we can find out for sure.

Ladybird larvae, but which ladybird?

If you haven’t seen the larvae of a ladybird before, you might have been surprised to see how different they look to their fully grown selves, I know I was the first time! These are about six times the size of the adult Yellow Shouldered Ladybirds, so it will be fascinating to find out which variety they are!

Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers celebrating the day in your part of the world this weekend, I hope your beneficial ladybirds are plentiful!

*****

Changing the subject back to blog re-design questions for a moment, this time I’m looking at the font. It seems that the font size and design cannot be changed on this particular page layout. How do you find it to read? Is it too small?

cheers,

Heidi

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Comments on: "Ladybirds to the rescue!" (10)

  1. Congratulations! πŸ™‚
    I had no idea ladybirds had hair at all. Nor did I realise their larvae were so huge compared to the adult form – it makes you wonder where all the bulk goes. I guess if I had to grow wings and hard elytra, I’d lose a bit of weight too. So they get stuck into the aphids as well?

    • Hi Karly! Some certainly seem to be hairier than others! Yes, the larvae eat aphids as well, in fact it’s quite amazing to see how quickly they chew through them!

  2. roundrockgarden said:

    I had no idea they had hair either! Bug life cycles can be so interesting! I’ve never heard of them being called ladybirds before – here in the U.S. they’re ladybugs. I had to look it up! Sure enough, in your neck of the woods, that’s what they’re callled!

  3. Hello RRG, we follow on from the UK in calling them ladybirds I think. In fact we swap and change between both terms here…I had to edit my post because I was calling them ladybirds one minute and ladybugs the next!

  4. Hi GG, just discovered your blog – love it and will definitely be a regular visitor. I have so much to learn about insects and plants and am so enjoying my learning journey. For example, never have I ever thought about ladybird lava! This opens up a whole new world. The print is fine for me, and my eyesight is far from perfect! cheers, catmint

    • Hello Catmint and thank you for visiting πŸ™‚ I am very much on a learning journey too, one that has only really started in the last few months. There is just so much to learn in your own back yard! It is great to meet a blogger who is quite ‘local’ to me too – at least local in blog terms!

  5. Hi, I like ladybird too. They are beneficial insect arn’t they?
    They are working(eating?) better than me. πŸ˜‰

  6. I love those little critters – I think the name ladybug is cute though in the UK if I called them ladybugs folk would give me strange looks!

    Heidi your font is fine for me to read πŸ™‚ Rosie

  7. Hi Rosie πŸ™‚ Well, I think we should count ourselves lucky in Australia as we tend to use both names interchangeably here! Thanks for the feedback about the font πŸ™‚

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