In mid-October 2017, my wife and I were unloading groceries from the car when she noticed this little bug on the back of my shirt. She picked it off and wrapped it inside a kleenex so we could take it outside and release it. We try not to kill beneficial insects because they eat things like aphids or scale insects which damage our trees and flowers. You can see in this image that this is a very small insect. The wind was blowing, as it does most of the time in these parts, and I used my car keys to help anchor the kleenex.
In this image you can see this little beetle is almost to my car keys. What is interesting here are the two red spots surrounded by shiny black on the elytra or shell-like fore-wings common to Coleopterans, or beetles as most folks know them. Also, a portion of the right hindwing is visible because this individual had attempted to fly away during all the hullabaloo and didn’t get his wing tucked back under the elytra.
In the last image, which is about the limit of my camera’s ability to focus on something so small, you can get a better look at the size of the redspots and see the short antennae sticking out from either side of the head. Also, you might be able to see the 2 tarsal claws on the middle leg of the left side. After the photoshoot, our subject was released near our chrysanthemums where he can find lots of food.
This little beetle belongs to the lady beetle family Coccinellidae and likes plants with scale insects on them to eat. Based on what I learned at BugGuide, this individual may be a member of the genus Chilcorus, the Twice-stabbed Lady Beetles. Another interesting day for me because I got to see and photograph something I haven’t seen before and to share the tale of it with you. Happy Trails, all.