"The Spotted Lady Beetle (Coleomegilla maculata) is probably the most common native lady beetle in eastern North America. These 4-7mm long, pinkish, multispotted beetles form overwintering aggregations among leaves at the bases of trees, and venture out onto the dead leaves as soon as the spring sun melts the snow around the tree trunks. Masses of hundreds of Spotted Lady Beetles signal that spring is on the way, and soon Ontario lawns will become spotted with dandelions which will in turn be spotted with spotted lady beetles munching on pollen. Once they get their proteinaceous head start with a seasonal breakfast of dandelion pollen, Spotted Lady Beetles disperse to feed on a variety of aphids.
"The second of these two photographs shows a Spotted Lady Beetle sitting on top of a cocoon of a parasitic wasp (Perilitus coccinellae) that developed inside the beetle. The lady beetle is not quite dead, and can still twitch enough to scare off other insects that might eat the parasitic wasp's cocoon."