Subject: Lady beetle bug love, Hawaii
Geographic location of the bug: Pukalani, Maui
Time: 11:39 AM EDT
Aloha – On a milkweed plant, nurtured for the Monarch caterpillars use, I found this pair of lady beetles planning the next generation. Yes, there were yellow aphids on the plant which I’ve seen one of the lady beetles near. Thanks for all the informative posts.
How you want your letter signed: Eliza
We identified this amorous pair as Seven Spotted Lady Beetles, Coccinella septempunctata, thanks to an online article published by the University of Hawaii entitled “Not All Lady Beetles are Created Equal: Learn about different Types of Lady Beetles in Hawaii with Special Talent“. Alas, we cannot currently access BugGuide where this species is represented because we would like to verify its native range since so many species currently found on Hawaii have been introduced. According to Arkive, the Seven Spotted Lady Beetle might be native to Europe. Arkive states: “Ladybirds are perhaps the most well-known and popular of all British beetles, and the seven-spot ladybird is one of the commonest species. This rounded beetle has bright red wing cases with 7 black spots, although some individuals may have more or fewer spots. The thorax is black with patches of pale yellow at the front corners. The common name of this group of beetles, ‘ladybird’, was originally given to the seven-spot in honour of the Virgin Mary; the red wing cases symbolising the Virgin’s red cloak, with the seven spots representing her seven joys and seven sorrows.” Our previous research on the Seven Spotted Lady Beetle indicates “According to BugGuide: ‘It has been repeatedly introduced in the US from Europe, to control aphids. This widespread palearctic species was intentionally introduced into N. America several times from 1956 to 1971 for biological control of aphids. All of those attempts apparently failed in getting C. septempunctata established, but in 1973 an established population was found in Bergen Co., New Jersey. This population is thought to have been the result of an accidental introduction rather than a purposeful one (Angalet and Jacques, 1975). Since 1973, this species has spread naturally and been colonized and established in Delaware, Georgia, and Oklahoma. (Gordon 1985) It has since spread throughout N. Amer.'”
Mahalo for you extensive paragraph on the 7 spotted Lady Beetles in Bug Love. Yes, many hitchhiking bugs now make Hawaii home. The Madagascar gold dust day gecko has appeared in my carport over the past week. Eeeek!
Sending the attached 23 sec vid for your review of the wiggling male. I was rather surprised to see his action, since most bug mating is static.