Subject: It’s Raining Lady Bug Larvae!
Location: Montecito Hts/Rose Hill, CA
April 8, 2013 4:57 pm
As I am sure you are sharing in this windstorm over the hill in Mt. Washington I thought I’d share what it has shaken out of the Black Walnut trees over here on Rose Hill.
I believe them to be Seven-spotted Lady Beetle (according to Bug Guide) http://bugguide.net/node/view/640308 and they are EVERYWHERE by the hundreds.
These are the few I started picking up quickly as I thought my chickens would ravage them but I soon realized they were not interested. Maybe they already ate their fill(?) or they don’t like the taste is what I am thinking.
In any event, I thought I’d share what the wind blew down – and yes, these individuals were relocated to the chicken free zone just in case.
Alas, we were away from our home office and working in Hollywood during the bulk of the storm where the only thing raining down seemed to be palm fronds. These do look like Seven Spotted Lady Beetle Larvae and we are curious why there were so many in the black walnuts. We did find some Scale Insects on one of our own black walnut trees some time back, and we wonder if they might be feeding on scale. Thanks for submitting this fascinating account and your photos. We are tagging you as a Bug Humanitarian as well. We also learned that our Mount Washington Weather Station anemometer failed to report wind speeds recently and that is how we knew we had a record 101 MPH wind blast on our hill in December 2011.
Thank you for the email. I hadn’t read my Twitter feed so I didn’t know there was a response.
As far as what they are feeding on – I can say with certainty that my trees are full of green aphids. I had noticed last week that every time I went under my trees a few would manage to fall on me. Then again, this year I seem to have exponential numbers of everything seeing as it’s also been raining wooly bears.
I too have scale insects on one particular succulent (cotton scale) and in hopes that these lady bug larvae would lend a hand I released the lot of them there. No luck. They moved on.
I found more this evening but not in such great numbers as yesterday.
I don’t think the winds made it anywhere near what they were in 2011 – wow, 101MPH?? Yikes!