Ladybugs – Counting the Spots

We’ve been ‘buttoning up’ the yard in preparation for winter. Lawn furniture has been put under cover, equipment cleaned and stored. I’ve watered in the trees and mulched what is going to get mulched this year. A few bugs are still busy doing fall things too – the most visible are the Bees and the Ladybugs.

Did you know that Ladybugs can have different numbers of spots? Different species of Ladybugs have different numbers of spots. The spots, and the bright body colour can be thought of as their defensive armour – it warns predators that they don’t taste very good.

Ladybugs all dressed in red
Strolling through the flowerbed.
If I were tiny just like you
I’d creep among the flowers too!
Maria Fleming

(To see the photos in a larger size, click on one of them to open a slideshow. To close the slideshow, press your ES-Ca-pay button (or the tiny ‘X’ on the top right of the screen).

Bug Bits
Name: Ladybug
Family:
Coccinellidae
Location: North of Calgary, Alberta
Notes:
They are natural enemies of many insects, especially aphids and other sap feeders. A single lady beetle may eat as many as 5,000 aphids in its lifetime.

The Ladybug wears no disguises.
She is just what she advertises.
A speckled spectacle of spring,
A fashion statement on the wing….
A miniature orange kite.
A tiny dot-to-dot delight.
J. Patrick Lewis, “The Little Buggers”

The ladybug’s a beetle.
It’s shaped like a pea.
Its color is a bright red
With lots of spots to see.
Although the name is ladybug
Some ladybugs are men.
So why don’t we say “gentleman bug”
Every now and then?
Author Unknown

How brave a ladybug must be!
Each drop of rain is big as she.
Can you imagine what you’d do,
If raindrops fell as big as you?
Aileen Fisher

12 thoughts on “Ladybugs – Counting the Spots

  1. We had a major infestation of ladybugs a couple of years ago; I’ve only seen a few this fall. It amazes me how they manage to sneak into the house (where they keep the cat amused for HOURS!) Thanks for the interesting facts!

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      1. On year (I think it was 2001 or 2002) we had a real “infestation” of Chinese ladybugs that have since made our native species disappear. Apparently farmers imported the Chinese ones to get rid of excess aphids; they reproduced on an unprecedented scale and there were THOUSANDS of them on beaches, in yards and clinging to window screens throughout Southern Ontario. And they BITE! It was pretty scary. They died off within 2 years (probably a result of our winter weather) but they were a nuisance for a couple of years.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t know that Margy – I always learn something here at your site. 🙂 Years ago I remember reading about a home where ladybugs (I’m not sure what type) invaded a home and pest control services found them congregating everywhere, even behind lightswitches and electrical outlets! I still make a wish when I see a ladybug and I can pluck it from a leaf, the car, my arm and then wish and set it free … some child-like habits never die.

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      1. I was amazed to hear that story. One of the local radio stations had an exterminator that advertised on their station. Every so often they’d do an interesting interview about what was trending in their company “finds” and that was one of those interviews.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Good article.
      I can’t find any information that confirms we have the Asian ladybugs here in Alberta, but I’m looking at my ladybug photos with a more skeptical eye. My 13 spot one might be the Asian variety!

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