That lady beetle, aka ladybug, that landed on the shoe of San Francisco 49”ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk just before the NFL championship game, apparently didn't show up at the Super Bowl.
The 49'ers lost to the Kansas City Chiefs, but what a great battle it was.
Do lady beetles bring good luck?
Maybe. Maybe not.
But we always appreciate them, especially on Valentine's Day. They're red, they gobble aphids, and sometimes they represent love.
This group of enthusiastic beetles (below) had just been devouring aphids on a brittlebush (Encelia farinosa), on the UC Davis campus back in 2014, and then it happened. Three formed a Leaning Tower of Pisa.
The end result: More beneficial insects soon!
Happy Valentine's Day!
The excitement, the capture, the I-get-to-take-these-home-and-put-them-in-my-garden look.
Who doesn't love a lady beetle? (Besides the gentlemen beetles, of course!)
Karey Windbiel-Rojas, associate director for Urban and Community IPM and area Urban IPM advisor, and her colleagues are ready for the crowds that will descend on entomological displays at the all-day Picnic Day on Saturday, April 15, the 109th annual.
The Briggs Hall activities, organized by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, include cockroach races, maggot art, forensic entomology, and more. (See Bug Squad blog for events and activities at both Briggs Hall and the Bohart Museum of Entomology)
The UC IPM specialists will provide information information sheets on both endemic and invasive pests and will answer questions.
Note that it's not a bug; it's a beetle. Entomologists call them "lady beetles" because this insect is not a true bug. It belong to the family Coccinellidae. Scientists have described about 5000 species worldwide, and about 450 in North America.
"Lady beetles, or ladybugs, are round- or half-dome-shaped insects with hard wing covers," UC IPM writes on its website. "About 200 species occur in California and most are predators both as adults and larvae. Some species specialize on aphids or other groups; others have a broader diet."
Lady beetles, the good guys and gals in the garden, are natural enemies of aphids and other soft-bodied insects. Scientists say a lady beetle may eat around 50 a day, and as many as 5000 aphids in its lifetime. Sadly, the larvae, which look like mini-alligators, are often mistaken for pests.
Don't kill 'em! Treasure 'em!/span>
This Saturday, April 15th, is the annual UC Davis Picnic Day event!
Stop by the UC Statewide IPM Program's booth from 9am to 3pm in the entomology building, Briggs Hall.
We'll have ladybugs (lady beetles) for you to take home, fun insect temporary tattoos for all ages, preserved insects on display, and a “good bug” scavenger hunt! You can also find information on various pests as we will showcase our publications, online tools, and resources.
Visit us with your pest-related questions and learn about all of the free UC IPM resources available to help you manage pests in the home, garden, or landscape!
It wouldn't make the news, even if it were a "Slow News Day."
"Lady in Red Climbs Neon-Pink Petals in Search of Aphids."
Lady beetles, aka ladybugs, are coming out of their winter hibernation now and they're hungry. Aphid-hungry.
We spotted this lady beetle Feb. 7 in a flower pot containing an iceplant, Carpobrotus edulis, native to South Africa. Iceplant is an invasive plant.
"Iceplant was introduced to California in the early 1900s as an erosion stabilization tool used on railroad tracks, and later used by Caltrans on roadsides," according to an article, "Invasive to Avoid--Iceplant," posted by the California Fish and Wildlife. "It has been used as an ornamental for many years, and is still sold in nurseries. Unfortunately, iceplant spreads easily, and has become invasive in coastal California from north of Humboldt County to as far south as Baja California. When it establishes in a location, it forms a large, thick mat that chokes out all other native plants and alters the soil composition of the environment. Because it is a coastal invader, it competes with many endangered, threatened, and rare plants." (See what Calflora.org says about it.)
California has about 200 species of lady beetles. Check out the lady beetles on the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) to see many of the species. They are voracious consumers of aphids and other soft-bodied insects.
Meanwhile, a news flash: "Lady in Red Climbs Neon-Pink Petals..."
Now that the sun's out and the worst California storms are over, check your yard for lady beetles.
We saw several of them on our agave this morning. The center of the plant looked like bunched-up asparagus--red-tipped asparagus--and there they were, ruby-red lady beetles threading through the leaves.
Close, closer, closest...
Ready to see scores of beetle species? Be sure to attend the Bohart Museum of Entomology's open house, themed "Beetles," from 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 22 in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, 455 Crocker Lane, UC Davis campus. Open to the public, the event is free (both admission and parking) and family friendly.
Among the presenters will be UC Davis graduate student and burying beetle researcher Tracie Hayes of the laboratory of Professor Louie Yang, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology; beetle specialist Fran Keller, biology professor at Folsom Lake College and a Bohart Museum scientist and UC doctoral alumna; and Cal Fire bark beetle specialist Curtis Ewing, a senior environmental scientist, Forest Entomology and Pathology.
The family arts-and-crafts activity will be to color a drawing of a carrion beetle, the work of Tracie Hayes.
The Bohart Museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, UC Davis distinguished professor of entomology, Department of Entomology and Nematology, houses a global collection of eight million insect specimens; a live petting zoo where you can photograph the residents (and pet some of them, including Madagascar hissing cockroaches and stick insects); and a year-around gift shop, stocked with insect-themed t-shirts, hoodies, jewelry, books, posters and collecting equipment.
Founded in 1946, the Bohart Museum is named for noted entomologist Richard Bohart (1913-2007), UC Davis entomology professor, is open to the public from 8 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 5 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays.