Thursday, March 18, 2010

It's a Ladybug Picnic!

Hey, does anyone remember Sesame Street's Ladybug Picnic song?  One of my favorite Sesame Street skits!

I can't help but tiptoe outside and check on the progress of the garden.  The latest saga?  The ladybird beetles have arrived!  They've made lovely little apartment houses out of my Eriogonum giganteums, making it pretty difficult to go without finding one.  I'm fascinated by all the different species, but my favorite seems to be the smaller ones with no spots and a deep, lustrous sheen.  It reminds me of the fancy paint jobs you see on motorcycles!  I'll hazard a guess and say it might be a Cycloneda Munda?  The white markings don't look the same, but who knows?

I'm pretty sure this one's a Coccinella californica.  I love that black stripe!

I know I should have respected this couple's privacy in their intimate moment, but how could I resist such a shot?  Are they Coccinella septempunctuata?

Of course, the only reason these ladies make my garden their home is because I've got aphid ranches galore.  It also helps that I don't use any icky pesticides to scare them away.  (Even the safer soaps or neem oil are meant to kill bugs, including ladybugs, so I try to let nature take its course unless the situation gets too dire) 

Are you noticing the ladybugs enjoying our sunshiney weather?


  1. I haven't seen any yet, but so far the aphids have not discovered my new shrub roses - so that is probably why they aren't here yet :^)

  2. That's too funny...I think your ladybugs, like my lizards, need a PG rating. Just kidding of course...I look at it as 'documentary photography'. Now, where are my ladybugs? I really don't see many here.

  3. Great shots. I am yet to capture a lady bug in my garden but i wish there could be few as they are very eco friendly bugs.

  4. Well if you want help id'ing those ladybugs you can always go to the Lost Ladybug Project.
    I have some blogpost on it somewhere or another. You can send in your photos and they'll id them for you. They are just looking for information to chart species' location, time of year etc.

  5. Well, if you don't have ladybugs, that must mean you don't have aphids, either. Lucky!
    Thanks for the reminder about Lostladybug, Brad. I did a post on them, too, but must have forgotten.