Lady Bug

The Little Ladies Proliferate This Year

We have a lot of Lady Bugs (Coleoptera Coccinellidae) this year.  To be specific, they are Multicolored Asian Lady Beetles.  I counted over a dozen of them on one of the roses and some more on the other roses in the garden.  I also found egg sags and larvae under the leaves.  This is a good sign for the garden since their primary food is aphids.  The birds eat the aphids too but they also leave some damage on the rose buds from their sharp beaks.  A lady bug just walks up and down the branches and leaves and chows down on aphids like a vacuum cleaner, no damage done in the process.  They even eat while they’re mating…Ha.

She’s chowing down on an aphid while in congress

Aside from the prolific number of them, I also found a strange lady bug…a jet black one among the orange.  It has completely black wings with normal lady bug marks on the head. When I looked very closely, I still saw black lady bug spots faintly on the wings.  It’s also aggressive.  He pumped up and down on the leaf when I got the camera too close, fighting his own reflection in the lens.

Lone Black Lady Bug

According to the book Insects Their Natural History and Diversity by Stephen A. Marshall, it’s supposed to be a “Fifteen-spotted Lady Beetle” (Anatis labiculata), not a mutant as I first thought it was.  I’m glad I have a new addition to the garden this year then.

Orange or black lady bugs, mutant or not, do not matter to me, they both work very hard on cleaning up the aphids that abound.  I just hope the birds would leave them alone and go for the Japanese beetles instead.

Rows of eggs under a rose leaf

10 thoughts on “Lady Bug

    1. We ban chemical products from our garden completely. The lady bugs seem to like roses;plenty of aphids for them to eat. I think they follow their food. Found a lot of the larvae on Astilbes as well.

  1. Ladybugs, or ladybird beetles, got their name about 500 years ago in Europe. It seems that farmers were having big trouble with insects called aphids (AY-fids). The aphids were sucking the juices from the farmers’ grape vines. So the farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary for help. (People of some religions believe that Mary is the Mother of God.)
    Later, lots of little red beetles showed up and ate the aphids. The farmers thought their prayers had been answered. So they named the helpful beetles in honor of Mary, who is also known as “Our Lady.”
    In Europe, during the Middle Ages, insects were destroying the crops, so the Catholic farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary for help. Soon the Ladybugs came, ate the plant-destroying pests and saved the crops! The farmers began calling the ladybugs “The Beetles of Our Lady”, and they eventually became known as “Lady Beetles”! The red wings represented the Virgin’s cloak and the black spots represented her joys and sorrows. They didn’t differentiate between males and females.

    Also, they are NOT called ladybirds because there are not just ladybirds that are ladies because if they were all ladies they would not be able to mate.

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