Finally, if you’re a fan of ANY University of Florida athletic program and its storied rivalries, this last ORANGE AND BLUE! bug is for you.
It’s a ladybug.
Before proceeding, we should point out that these critters are beetles, members of the order Coleoptera. Ladybugs specifically are members of the family Coccinellidae.
We know what you’re thinking – “have you lost your minds, BugWeek Web Team? Ladybugs are red and black, and those are the team colors of our dreaded nemesis, the University of Georgia!”
That’s often true, when you’re talking about adult ladybugs.
But when you look at ladybug larvae it’s a whole ‘nother story. They come in a variety of colors – black, black and orange, brown, gray… and ORANGE AND BLUE!
Say hello to Harmonia axyridis, also known as the multicolored Asian lady beetle. It’s one of 98 ladybug species known to inhabit Florida, though it’s native to Asia. The species was deliberately released in the U.S. beginning about a century ago, to control pest insects such as aphids, mites, thrips, psyllids and scale insects. By the early 1990s the species could be found across the country.
Harmonia axyridis has a wider range of colors and patterns than most ladybugs.
And we can’t help but point out that the larva of this species is sometimes described as looking like a tiny, six-legged alligator.
So, we are proud to give Harmonia axyridis a full BugWeek Web Team endorsement, for its coloration, shape and the fact that it helps knock down pest insect populations statewide.
GO GATORS, and GO ORANGE AND BLUE BUGS!