It's a ladybug larva. Yes... a ladybug! I ordered a ladybug land kit from Insectlore.com. It came with a ladybug habitat and live ladybug larva. I had no idea this could turn into a ladybug. The sad news is all of mine died. They never changed into the pupa stage. So last week I called the company and they are supposed to send me replacements.
Let me stop here and just say... I love teaching in the spring. It's so much fun. I like to hatch chicks and ducks, raise butterflies, watch praying mantids hatch, and whatever else I can get my hands on. Teaching computers makes it less likely that I have opportunities to do this kind of thing but I figured I could work it into research.
Last week our praying mantids hatched. These are totally cool insects! They are clean and friendly and love to walk and hop on your hands. However, we turned them loose so they would live withing 24 hours of them hatching. After I let the kids let them go, I discovered that I have a crop of aphids on our day lilies. So I ordered LIVE ladybugs.
We're going to observe them at school for a few days and then I'm going to turn them loose on my day lilies. Of course I hope they make a home here because I really love watching them and they are so good for the plants. My neighbors probably think I'm nuts because I've been outside picking aphids off the lilies two days in a row to feed the ladybugs. I also give them soaked raisins to eat. Tomorrow I'm going to put a ladybug and some aphids in a clear container and put it under a microscope that is connected to the computer and the SmartBoard. We'll take photos and video of the insects. We should be able to get an extra close look at nature. Then we should be able to make a movie about ladybugs. This is fun stuff. I think it's time to order some caterpillars... oh yeah!