I pulled a head of (organic) romaine lettuce out of its plastic bag in the fridge today and found this on it. A week ago I would have flicked it off into the sink without much thought. But today I got excited. It's a ladybug larva!
I've been thinking about ladybug larva since I read that they will eat more than a thousand aphids before they are full grown. These guys can really do some damage on an aphid colony. I began to wonder what they looked like, since these larva are obviously something I want to pamper if I find them in my garden. It was easy to find photos on the Web and I've been keeping my eyes out for them, especially since I pulled out my sugar snap peas last week and there were quite a few aphids on them.
This larva on my lettuce was still alive--even after a couple days in the fridge. I ran outside and gently placed it on some parsley, after snapping a portrait. I hope he (she?) makes it.
I wonder if the organic lettuce people have thought of using ladybug larva as a marketing tool?
"Free ladybug larva in every package!" "From our garden to yours!"
Just a note: there were some tiny ladybug larva turds in my lettuce, too, so it's a good idea to wash it, even if it is organic.