Donald Munro

Donald’s mailbag: ladybug larvae, not a caterpillar

While they seemed to like my Sunday column on wildflowers, several readers let me know that I need to brush on my bug terms.

I described in my column a colorful little caterpillar that scampered around a wild mustard plant – and how I took something like 800 photos of him trying to get him all in focus using a very shallow depth-of-field.

Lisa Libby writes:

“You’ve probably already been hearing from other garden-types, but your caterpillar is, in fact, a ladybug larva. Not only are they charming, they are aphid-eating machines! It’s a great photo and would work well in another article on garden heroes. Thanks for the beautiful words and photos!”

I stand enlightened. I learn something new in this job every day. In the meantime, enjoy my column: It’s a mix of wildflowers, dogs and philosophy.

A reader named Dennis even sent me a depiction of the lady-bug life cycle, pictured above.