Lady beetles or bean leaf beetles
Misidentification of insects is not uncommon. The colors, shapes, and sizes of the legions of insects that inhabit Iowa often exceed our own imaginations. However, for those of us involved in agriculture, there are several dozen insects that we should recognize. Two are the twelvespotted lady beetle (also called the spotted lady beetle) and the bean leaf beetle. The former is a beneficial, and the latter a serious pest. I would not have given the confusion over the identification of these two insects serious thought if not for a surprise encounter this week. A clear plastic bag, containing dozens of twelvespotted lady beetles was delivered to campus along with the comment, "This sure looks like a bad year for bean leaf beetles."