Part of our ongoing series, featuring insects that can help keep damaging pest insects under control. Sadly, these insects are often misidentified and mistaken for pests.
Most people are familiar with the adults of these beetles, particularly the common red and black convergent ladybeetle. However, the egg, larval, and pupal stages are less well known, and the larval stages in particular are often mistaken for pests. In fact, it is the larva that is the most voracious stage of the life cycle. Keep in mind, too, that there are many different species of these beetles in New Mexico, with various colors and patterns. Most species will eat aphids and other small, soft-bodied pests, and some species are specialist predators of spider mites.
Beneficial of the Month material courtesy of NMSU ACES
Pocket Guide to the Beneficial Insects of New Mexico