14-spotted lady beetle larva - Day 8 (a), prepupa - Propylea quatuordecimpunctata
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Size: 6 mm
July 5, 2009
"Prepupa" is not a separate larval instar, but it is an identifiable stage lasting up to 24 hours.
The larva has attached its rear abdominal segments to the leaf, which will anchor it until the adult emerges from the pupa. The body is held in a tight curl with the head and legs tucked under, and is motionless unless strongly provoked.
Plant: Lady's thumb/smartweed (Polygonum sp.), my main source of aphids in July.
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