Monday, March 16, 2009
The Multi-Colored Asian Ladybird Beetle (a big name for such a little beetle). What these little beetles lack in size they more than make up for in sheer numbers. In the 1800's some enterprising citizens brought these beetles over from Asia to help control Aphid populations in green houses and nurseries. This plan worked well until some of these lovely little ladybugs escaped their confinements and set out for greener pastures. The habitats they encountered suited them quite nicely and they have taken to their new home with a vengence. In fact it is near to impossible to find a native species these days. These ladybugs come in many different shades of red, orange and reddish-orange. In the west there are some that are black. They have a tendancy to bite and give off a musky odor. Nothing like our sweet native ladybird beetles. In the fall it is common to see these ladybugs in large numbers in warm sunny areas. Presumably they are congregating in massive numbers to hibernate the long cold winter months in groups. Look for them in February and March as they come out of hiding on warmer days. They have become a symbol of fall for me, and even though they are not native and they are usurping our own lovely ladies I still can't help but carry a fondness for them in my heart.