Well, talk about naming choices. Is this a ladybug, a ladybird, or a lady beetle? And what if she is actually a he? And is it walking on a Manitoba Maple branch, or a Box Elder branch? Strangely enough all of the above are correct names for this insect and this tree. Although the insect is a beetle, not a bug or a bird.
After learning about Box Elder bugs and fearing an invasion, I went out to purge my yard of Manitoba Maple saplings. As I chopped, I discovered this tiny black ladybug on one thick “trunk.” I don’t think this little fighter could take on a Box Elder bug, but it was still fun to watch it patrolling around the bark in its robotic little box-shaped paths to make sure it didn’t overlook anything tasty.
Anyway, here’s a few photos while I continue my research: