Cryptolaemus montrouzieri / Coleoptera
Oak Ridge, TN
I was very surprised to learn through an internet search that this fuzzy white "aphid eater" is a type of ladybug larva! It closely resembles some of its prey; talk about a "wolf in sheep's clothing"! It has white waxy secretions that protect it from attacks from ants. The ants try to protect the aphids, which this larva eats, because they eat the honeydew produced by the aphids. What an amazing relationship between the three different types of insects!
A Chinese relative of these predatory beetles is being used in the battle against the Hemlock Wooly Adelgids in the Smokies.