A Patch Teeming With Lady Bugs

One of my favorite things about hiking is the unexpected interactions with life in the forest. Yesterday, on my weekly family and friends hike, we came across a patch teeming with lady bugs along the Gabrieleno Trail. My friend Lorenzo and I took great delight in photographing and watching them well past the time when the rest of our group had lost interest. I’ve only seen this many one other time which was with my brother in August 2011 along the Vincent Gulch Trail by the San Gabriel River. Click on an image to enlarge and begin a slide show.

21 thoughts on “A Patch Teeming With Lady Bugs

    • I’ve only seen it one other time and there were actually more of them then. Of course that was summer. I’m curious how these bugs will do in the snow storm that is set to hit them later this week.


  1. This looks like a mating orgy. The only thing I have seen like this is the similar congregations of Japanese beetles here in the midwest in the summer. At least your ladybird beetles and their offspring will perform a valuable ecological service and consume lots of aphids. Japanese beetles just devour fruit and flowers in my garden. Here’s a link to “mating balls” of Japanese beetles for comparison with your photos. http://bybio.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/mating-balls/


    • Wow, anyone reading this should check out Sue’s link. I thought they might be mating. I’m curious about the time of year though. The last time I saw them in numbers like that was in August–admittedly at a much higher altitude. I was really surprised to see them in February and wonder what impact this week’s pending snow storm will have on them. I guess I erroneously believed that bugs don’t do well in the cold …


  2. Okay, they are cute and all, and I know they are supposed to sembalize good luck and things like that… but, really? Massed together like that? Super creepy! Going to be having nightmares of attacking ladybugs tonight. It will be like the movie “Birds” only instead of the Crows perched on the telephone wires it will bugs clumped on them, and then swarming through every nook and crevice of my house…. *shiver*


    • Fortunately, the real life version isn’t scary like the Hitchcock version of your pending nightmares. Though your version does sound like the making of a good Dr. Who episode. I was actually worried I was going to step on them …


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