Asian Lady Beetle | New Year Visitor

It was just before 1 pm on New Year’s Day. We were talking on the phone to one of our children. Along the edge of the table walked this Asian Lady Beetle.ย  We had seen it on the walls over the recent months when the outdoor temperatures got cold. Here it was again on one of the coldest days of the year.

We nudged it toward the center of the table for a better look. Notice the M or W shaped marking in front of the orange shell.

It had dust, webs, and detritus all over. It must have traveled a long way in the house looking for a way out during the past weeks. We tried to pick it up. It slipped and landed upside down.

 

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7 thoughts on “Asian Lady Beetle | New Year Visitor

  1. Washe Koda

    While living in Boone, IA 15 yrs ago someone indoctrinated those into the bean fields to get rid of something or other! In town thousands would get into wall’s , they expelled an alkali that would sting like they were biting ya & they put off a terrible stink odder similar to burnt beans in a crock pot ๐Ÿž Nice photos though ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Reply
    1. Jim R Post author

      Yes, they are a pest. I am careful to handle them gently when I escort them outside in the fall. This one escaped until New Year’s. I think it is well frozen now. It will probably survive and come back to kill me.

      Reply
  2. shoreacres

    I chased a ladybug (yes, I know it’s a beetle, but…) all over a plant at the refuge a while back. It never flew, but it could run like crazy. It was a different species than yours: plain red, with no spots at all. But apart from the wing covers, it looked pretty much the same. I found a pair on a milkweed plant this year, too: eating aphids.They’re really quite wonderful.

    Have you gotten involved with the Lost Ladybug Project? It looks like yours was really lost.

    Reply
    1. Jim R Post author

      Why no, I have never heard of that project. Interesting and easy to join in.

      This one we found was very slow. I think it was badly undernourished. I showed it the door after the photo shoot. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      Reply
  3. Val

    Here in the UK, we call them ‘Ladybirds’ (don’t ask me why, as they are beetles not birds!) and that one, I think, is a Harlequin that is quite invasive. But all ladybirds are good in my eyes, they eat aphids and the tiny blackfly and whitefly that aflict many plants. The one in your photos looks mostly dead, it probably didn’t overwinter well or may have got partially stuck in a spider’s web and freed itself too late. Here, in the warmer months we find loads of them that have taken up residence in the cavity edges of our casement windows – they only become visible when we open the windows wide.

    Reply
    1. Jim R Post author

      Hi Val. Thank you for stopping by and making your comments. I’ve heard people refer to the native and invasive Asian species as Ladybirds and Ladybugs. This Harlequin species was imported into the US in 1916. It escaped a greenhouse in the south. It struggled to survive the first years. Success soon came. Now it is widespread here and over the world. It has eaten a lot of aphids.

      I found an article published in 2013 in Science that describes how the native populations of LadyBeetles are destroyed when this Asian species shows up. The Asian has a parasitic fungus called microsporidia in its blood system. The beetle is immune to it. If native species eat the infected Asian eggs or larvae, the fungus kills the native species. They have no immunity. The native species are eliminated over time. Here is the link to the abstract of the article. http://science.sciencemag.org/content/340/6134/862

      One more thing. I took a look at your blog and found you are a photocolourist. It really surprised me. I have a blog post on the same topic at How I See It nearly ready to publish this afternoon. Check it out in a few hours. Your work is beautiful. https://jarphys.wordpress.com/

      Reply
      1. Val

        Thanks, Jim. I’m just working on a post for my own blog at the moment, so I’ll have a look at both the article about the Harlequin and your post on your other blog later (possibly tomorrow).

        Reply

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