I have a stereotypical expectation for ladybugs – red with black dots, like the anthropomorphized version found in kid’s books, rubber boots and clothes. Every time I step outside, I observe animal diversity, in butterflies, in pillbugs, in birds, in slugs and on and on. But I assumed the only diversity in ladybugs was the number of dots they had. I was wrong.
My husband found the pictured ladybug a few blocks from our yard and brought it home to show me. I had no idea that black with white polkadot ladybugs existed. My first thought was the beetle was a mutant, but it turns out to be Calvia quatuordecigmuttata, commonly known as a Polkadot Lady Beetle (also called Cream-Spottted Lady Beetle and Fourteen-Spotted Lady Beetle). After we took pictures, this ladybug was released on to my most aphid infested cabbage. I hope this one finds a mate and populates the yard.