I have a few bugs on my pumpkin plant that seem to be eating the leaves. They are shaped like ladybugs but the color isn't red and black. It's more of a shiny bright orange.

Since ladybugs are good for controlling aphids and pests, I want to keep them (if indeed they are ladybugs) around even if they eat some leaves.

Here are some photos. Are these ladybugs?

enter image description here enter image description here

  • 1
    You can order larva online, after devouring everything that moves they will grow into fabulous dotted hunters :)
    – PTwr
    Commented Apr 18, 2018 at 7:01
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    Most species of ladybugs are carnivores. They don't eat leaves. They do, however, eat smaller bugs which eat leaves. So if you spot ladybugs near damaged leaves, they aren't part of the problem, they are part of the solution.
    – Philipp
    Commented Apr 18, 2018 at 14:51

2 Answers 2


Looks like a red pumpkin beetle Aulacophora foveicollis

pumpkin beetle

  • I'm not one to invoke nominative determinism on a whim, however in this case...
    – Tom W
    Commented Apr 18, 2018 at 16:59
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    Hi Graham, would you please post a bigger picture or two of the bug, and either more information about it or a link to some? Since this is the accepted answer, it will always be the first thing people will see, and I think fleshing it out a little will be helpful. The most important would be larger pictures. Thanks! Commented Apr 18, 2018 at 22:30
  • @Sue, it's a life sized picture! And the OP's question contains some pretty good images already so I don't think it's necessary to duplicate the effort there. But you got your link :) Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 5:30

false lady bugs

Even if insects are found to not be beneficial that does not mean we are relegated to eliminating them ourselves. A little damage is no big deal in comparison to adding chemistry you do not understand to your garden and ultimately eating this chemistry.

How much damage are you seeing?

  • I agree with the principle but I just found a lot more bugs under the leaves. I think they just might kill off the pumpkin plant. Also I think they ravaged my basil plants a few weeks ago. I had to move my basil plants far far away.
    – Spinor8
    Commented Apr 18, 2018 at 6:50
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    Responsible killing starts with ID of the pest. Stick with us, we can help you before you make an even bigger nightmare. I am not talking about principles, I want to show you garden reality. Grins.
    – stormy
    Commented Apr 18, 2018 at 7:11
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    A pumpkin is full of "chemistry you do not understand". In fact, everything you eat is full of "chemistry you do no understand". The idea that you need to avoid pesticides because chemicals are somehow scary is a version of the naturalistic fallacy. In fact, any pesticide you can buy for domestic use on food plants is safe for use, and no-one should worry about using them. Doubly so for plants like Pumpkin where you are spraying the leaves and not the edible part itself. Commented Apr 18, 2018 at 14:26
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    There are good ecological reasons to want to avoid killing non-target species, and insects in general, with domestic pesticides but there are no good reasons to avoid them because of food safety concerns. Commented Apr 18, 2018 at 14:27

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