• Bandelier Short-horned Lizard

    Bandelier

    National Monument New Mexico

Ladybugs

ladybug on oak

Most ladybugs are red with black spots.

Photo by Sally King

Several species of ladybugs (or Ladybird Beetles) are commonly seen in the park. All during the summer and even late into autumn, ladybugs can often be seen on plants along the Main Loop Trail. A ladybug's favorite food is aphids, which can be destructive to some plants. Because ladybugs reduce the population of this potentially harmful pest, ladybugs are often seen as beneficial. Although ladybugs are most often red with black spots, they can vary in color. Some don't have any spots at all.

 
ladybug larva

Ladybugs become mobile and hungry when they reach the larval stage.  As with adults, their favored food is aphids.

Photo by Sally King

LIFE STAGES
Like many insects, ladybugs go through several stages during their life. They start as eggs, which are usually laid within an aphid colony that provides a bounty of food as the insect moves through the subsequent stages. The larval stage is next. During this stage the the ladybug becomes mobile and starts to eat aphids. The third stage is the pupa stage (similar to a butterfly in its cocoon) from which an adult ladybug (the fourth and final stage) emerges.
 
ladybug larvae
In the larval stage, ladybugs look very different than in the adult stage.
Photos by Sally King

Did You Know?

Bandelier Backcountry

About 70% of Bandelier National Monument is a designated Wilderness area? Hikers can enjoy viewing remote archeological sites and spotting rare wildlife in this less developed area of the park.