Q: I found a black ladybug and it has two red spots on it. I have never seen one like it before. Is it rare?
A: It is not rare but a wonderful treat for you to find it feeding on your palm tree fronds. It is called a Two-stabbed ladybird beetle, Chilocorus stigma. They love to feed on scale and aphids. The term ladybird is a name used in England for more than 600 years for the European beetle Coccinella septempunctata. As knowledge about insects increased, the name became extended to all its relatives, members of the beetle family Coccinellidae. Of course, these insects are not birds, just as butterflies are not flies. The lady for whom they were named was “the Virgin Mary,” and common names in other European languages have the same association (the German name Marienkafer translates to “Marybeetle” or ladybeetle). Like most beneficial insects, C. stigma is susceptible to broad-spectrum insecticides. Using alternative control treatments such as dormant or horticultural oils may be less harmful to the lady beetles. Attached is a publication on several other ladybird beetles. Look over the different life cycles of this important insect as you may start to recognize other forms of this insect and they should be protected too. The larval stage of the ladybird beetle is also an important predator of harmful insects. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in327