Jan 23, 2019 at 2:24 pm #3574618KatttBPL Member
Lady beetles. This was amazingJan 23, 2019 at 3:06 pm #3574628Greg MihalikBPL Member
I too have had the pleasure of seeing a “massing”. Quite humbling.
Thank you for the memory.Jan 23, 2019 at 3:12 pm #3574629W I S N E R !BPL Member
They’re lucky they’re distasteful to birds or that would be quite the buffet…I seen a lot but never that many. Cool.Jan 23, 2019 at 4:22 pm #3574646Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I remember masses of ladybugs in the snow at the crest of San Gabriel mountains.Jan 23, 2019 at 7:53 pm #3574694Rex SandersBPL Member
@rexLocale: Central California Coast
Ladybugs (technically ladybird beetles) often mass up in protected California canyons for the winter – almost hibernating, they don’t eat until the weather warms up again.
Friends living in the Santa Cruz mountains have ongoing problems with ladybugs infesting their house during the winter. The insects crawl in through the smallest cracks and stink up the place. Several exterminators sprayed and left, knowing the ladybugs would return – and crawl through the same cracks. My friends are diligently sealing cracks now, but haven’t sealed the last opening..
Ladybugs can be effective biological controls for other insect pests. Some entrepreneurs gather buckets full in the winter and sell them to farmers. The farmers release the ladybugs in their fields – and after the beetles warm up enough, they fly back to protected canyons.
In college, they tried to turn me into an entomologist, but it didn’t take.Jan 23, 2019 at 10:20 pm #3574722Dan YBPL Member
Here in Illinois, the Asian Lady bug thrives in the soy bean fields. After the harvest, gazillions invade everything and anything. We cope! ;)
Thanks Kat for the photos.
Ladybugs and Asian lady beetles definitely look similar. If you look closely, however, you’ll be able to spot a few key differences. First of all, Asian lady beetles are slightly larger than Ladybugs. While all ladybugs are bright red with black spots, Asian lady beetles’ coloration can vary from red to orange. Lady beetles may or may not have black spots on their cerci (wing covers). Lady bugs have a round, oval shape, while Asian lady beetles tend to be a little longer.
The easiest way to tell Asian lady beetles apart from ladybugs at a glance is to look for the white “M” (see above). Asian lady beetles have a distinctive, highly-visible “M-shaped” black marking on their otherwise-white heads. This marking varies in size, thickness, and overall shape, but it’s always there. Ladybugs’ heads are mostly black with small white markings. Ladybug’s white markings are confined to the sides of the head and may resemble “cheeks.” In general, ladybugs’ heads or “snouts” also appear shorter and less pointed than Asian lady beetles’.
Jan 23, 2019 at 10:57 pm #3574733KatttBPL Member
Thanks Dan. FYI ladybugs are beetles, not true bugs (Hemiptera) regardless of place of origin. They are all lady beetles.
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