As we go on this Doodlewash Nature Hike together (and thank you for journeying along with me!), we have explored many different terrains.  Yesterday we were in the Pacific Ocean and today we are on the surface of a leaf, looking at ladybugs.

I was wondering if this were one of Charlie’s trick prompts, as these insects are not really bugs, but are properly called Lady Beetles.  (Beetles have one set of hardened wings which form a “shell” over their abdomens and another set of membranous wings with which they fly.  True bugs have only half of their first set of wings hardened, with the other half membranous like the other pair of wings.)

Lady Bugs
Lady Bird Beetles, watercolor, 5″ x 7″

Here I have painted Lady Beetles in all four of their life stages: eggs, usually laid under a leaf in an area where the larvae can find aphids after they hatch; the tiny larvae which look like brightly spotted little alligators, the pupae in which the lady beetle undergoes metamorphosis, and the familiar adult form.

May your garden have many lady beetles and few aphids this year!