The Attack of the Ladybugs

Every year about this time the Ladybird beetles (a.k.a., Ladybugs) swarm over Boulder. I first noticed  ladybug swarming on the top of our local peaks so I hiked up to Green Mountain  on July 12th to observe. Sure enough I was rewarded with the following sight…

Ladybug swarm

Ladybug Swarm on Green Mountain Tree

Yes, those are ladybugs swarming on the trunk of a tree. I’m trying to figure out what they are up to but I haven’t been able to find a compelling explanation. I do know that this has been a record year for insects because of our unusually wet spring and early summer. I also know that these little beetles stuff themselves with aphids at this time of the year. Nevertheless, they don’t seem to be eating nor making love so what are they doing? I’ll keep looking. More information about the ladybug swarms can be found at  blogs called The Nature Files and Berkeley,Naturally!

What are they up to?
What are they up to?

Some facts about ladybugs:

-They belong to the family Coccinellidae

-Coccinellids are found worldwide, with over 5,000 species described,  more than 450 native to North America alone.

-In North America the multicolored Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis) was introduced in the twentieth century to control aphids on agricultural crops.

-Once the aphids are gone ladybugs will eat other garden pests making them very popular with eco-gardeners.

-In some cultures they are referred to as lucky bugs (Turkish: uğur böceği).

-Coccinellids are and have for very many years been favorite insects of children. Remember the nursery ryhme:

Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home
Your house is on fire and your children are gone
All except one, and that’s Little Anne
For she has crept under the warming pan.

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7 Responses to “The Attack of the Ladybugs”

  1. Laisseraller Says:

    Great article & photos, This is a natural occurance you see ladybug migrate every year to the mountains. Now you might wonder how such a small insect get from the coast to the mountain many miles away? Well it turns out they are masters of the Jet air streams they know because of a bio clock when it time to migrate to the mountains and when it time to return to the coast. It turns out this insect is hundreds of million of years old (400million). To learn more on the Ladybug visit a new blog called “Hx. of the Ladybug” http://historyoftheladybug.blogspot.com/

  2. richwolf Says:

    Thanks for your comment and for the link to your interesting history of the ladybug.

  3. Stephanie Graham Says:

    Love your blog, especially this ladybug post! Thanks for sharing!

  4. richwolf Says:

    Thanks for your comment Stephanie…it’s nice to learn that there is a ladybug fan base out there (-;

  5. Kate Says:

    Wow! I’ve never seen that many ladybugs. Thanks for commenting and inviting me over. 🙂

  6. They are the Lady(bugs) of the Canyon « Berkeley, Naturally! Says:

    […] https://richwolf.wordpress.com/2009/07/18/the-attack-of-the-ladybugs/ […]

  7. The Lady Bug Swarm in Colorado | Canon 5D and EX1 Lady Bug Swarm Says:

    […] Links Fun facts about Lady Bugs: CLICK HERE Lady Bugs via Wikipedia Visit Colorado to see the Lady Bug Swarm: CLICK HERE […]

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