Convergent Ladybird Beetle Aggregation

Lady bug love
Thought you might like this photo…I assume the Lady bugs (and Guy bugs, too, presumably) aren’t just hanging together for the body warmth. Photo taken near Santa Maria, CA (as is the prior photo I sent a week ago of what I think might be a male black widow?). This area is primarily a large coastal-oak forest where I am. Thanks for the awesome site.
Tom Jolly
Vandenberg AFB, CA

Hi Tom,
Thanks for the wonderful Convergent Ladybird Beetle Aggregation image. According to Hogue, the Convergent Ladybird Beetle, Hippodamia convergens, “is the species most often seen in the garden. It is 3/16 to 1/4 inch long and is either solid red or red with several small black spots …. The Convergent Lady is the most important ladybird used in the biological control of aphids. During the late summer and fall, the adult congregate in great masses in mountain canyons and other cool protected places. Here they hibernate for up to nine months, frequently buried beneath the snow, until the first warm spring days, when they move back to the valleys. While still massed, they are collected by entrepeneurs, who sell them in nurseries for release in home gardens. Specimens sometimes accumulate on beach driftage after having been carried out to sea by Santa Ana winds and drowned while making their translocation flights.”

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