Hi! I found these creatures in my flower bed this morning. I thought they were ordinary ladybugs, but a friend believes they're a harmful invasive species. Who knew there are different types of ladybugs? Are you able to identify them and suggest how I should respond to their presence in my yard? Thanks!
Thank you for the excellent image of an aggregation of lady beetles. They are the convergent lady beetle, Hippodamia convergens. Here’s an informational page about them: http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/NE/convergent_lady_beetle.html.
And yes, there are many different kinds of lady beetles. You can see a few other kinds here: http://ipm.ucanr.edu/QT/ladybeetlescard.html.
Your friend may be thinking about newly hatched youngsters of the invasive brown marmorated stink bugs, Halyomorpha halys, which resemble lady beetles. You can see what they look like on this page, in the 2nd image: http://www.stopbmsb.org/stink-bug-basics/life-stages/.
Thank your friend for her questioning mind. It’s better to ask a question than to ignore the presence of a serious agricultural and garden pest.