May 14, 2020
What a grotesque, hairy beast! And that thing crawling across my forearm ain't much to look at, either!
When you see a critter like this, it might be hard to believe that it will grow up into one of the most beloved insects out there. But believe it or not, it's true: this is a ladybug larva! To be more specific, it's the larva of Harmonia axyridis, better known as the multicolored Asian ladybeetle. In some parts of America, it's also called the Halloween ladybeetle due to its tendency to invade homes around October in preparation for overwintering.
Unfortunately, these ladybeetles are not native to the U.S.; it originally hails from eastern Asia. To make matters even more unfortunate, it wasn't an accidental introduction; we brought them here on purpose about 100 years ago, and they have since spread across North America.
So why did we bring them here? The answer to that question will be revealed in tomorrow's nature post. That's right, it's the first two-parter! See you then! #BenInNature
NEW! If you discover something in nature that you would like help identifying, be sure to message us right here on Facebook with a picture and we'll have our experts help you identify it!
About this post: Social distancing can be difficult, but the next few weeks present a great opportunity to become reacquainted with nature. While he is working from home, Administrator of Science Ben Williams is venturing outdoors each day to record a snapshot of the unique sights that can be found in the natural world.
This post brought to you by VMNH Corporate Supporter The Lester Group.