Despite being native to Europe and East Asia, the seven spotted lady beetle has made itself at home all across the US since being introduced about 70 years ago to help control aphid populations. Unfortunately, their establishment has impacted native and less common species of ladybugs. In spite of being classified as an invasive species, it is the state insect of five different states. As an aside, the ant in this photo may have been trying to fend off the lady beetle …lady beetles eat aphids, which ants often tend / herd to collect their honeydew / waste as a food source.
Photo by Lisa Winn Cloo on 7/13/20 in Clinton, MT.