For some people, all life is a stage. For bugs, all life is at a stage — no acting required! When I saw the above creature, I could not figure it out for the life of me. I was in a Manhattan park, jonesing to shoot some bugs (there’s more than you think, and I’m excluding the roaches!), when I came upon it. Lo’ and behold, it was a ladybird beetle pupa. The above photo is overexposed, but it gives a good idea of the shape of the ladybug as it transitions into adulthood.
I got an okay shot of another pupa (below) — or possibly the leftover pupal case. The big hole in the front looks like an Exit Only kind of portal.
Another mystery bug, that really is no mystery, is the ladybird beetle larva (for the non-bug-versed, the larval stage comes before the pupal stage…just not in my post apparently, ha!). The one below is fairly common (of course they will vary as species do!) in my experience, with its distinct blue and yellow with the spiky tubercles. If you look back at the pupae at the edge affixed to the vegetation, you’ll notice a remnant of the husk of blue skin from the larval stage.
And, of course, there is the familiar, spotted adult, giving us the big gooey eyes below! (It should be noted the adult and larval photos feature bugs shot on campus at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, but safe to say NYC has plenty of ladies in all their beautiful forms.)