Spotless Ladybirds

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Anonymous

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I recently saw an inscet near my house that looked exactly like a ladybird with no spots. I thought it was a strange red beetle at first but when I looked at it closer the head and underside looked exactly like a ladybird.

Can you get such a thing as a spotless ladybird? Anyone?
 

rynner2

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Funnily enough, I heard part of this prog this morning:

NATURE: Living World
Channel: BBC Radio Four
Date: Sunday 21st September 2003
Time: 06:35 to 06:57 (Already shown)
Duration: 22 minutes.
Ladybirds Behaving Badly: Who would have thought that some ladybirds are cannibals and others are riddled with sexually transmitted diseases?

Don't recall anything about spotless ones, though.

Apparently the name comes from My Lady's Bird, which is a reference to the Virgin Mary. Apparently the insect's name in other languages also reflects the Marian connection. (No doubt some clever clogs can give us examples!)
 

OneWingedBird

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We sometimes get 'goth ladybirds' in our garden, they're black with red spots.
 
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Ah. I have a very good book with a big bit about ladybirds. There are all different types in all different colours. 7 spotted are the most common. You do get spotlessones, but I think they are usually pale orange.
 

CallMeKenneth

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Spotless ladybirds are ones that have just emerged from their pupa. The wingcases (elytra) are soft, and pale orange at first. It takes a couple of hours for them to harden, and to develop the familiar colour pattern.
 
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Anonymous

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There is a species- Coccidula rufa- that never gets spots.

The 'goth' ones are freaky, mutated 2-spot ladybirds. (Adalia bipunctata)
 
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Anonymous

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That's true...I think I have a picture of it here...ah, yes. (I love having a well stocked library...)
Looks very, uh, beetley...
 

CallMeKenneth

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Originally posted by Inverurie Jones
(I love having a well stocked library...)

Me too. It is in fact physically impossible to have too many books.
 
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Anonymous

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Compare the ladybug or ladybird, "Our Lady's bird":

Swedish "Marias Nyckelpiga" = "Mary's maidservant's key"
German "Marienkafer" = "Mary's chafer/beetle"
German "Himmelskuchlichen"
French "Bete a bon Dieu"
Spanish "Vaquilla de Dios"
Russian "Bozhia korovka" = "God's little cow"
Hindu "Indragopa"
(cf. Iona & Peter Opie, Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes_, s.v. "Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home").
Found it here.

Other French names are "coccinelle" and "Bete a Martin", but I don't know their etymology.

[Edit]
And this
There was a query regarding parat moshe rabeynu in a recent m.j. Ruben Frankenstein in Vol 4.409 of the Yiddish mailing list Mendele has this to report:

This tiny insect has got funny names in many languages. Hebrew folowed Russian and Yiddish in this case. The russian name translated is: "God`s cow". Likewise Yiddish named it: "Moyshe Rabeynus ferdl" or "Moyshe-Rabeynus-beheymele" and "Moyshe-rabeynus-kie`le" which is the diminutive for "cow" in yiddish. It must have been Chayim Nachman Bialik who introduced the ladybird into the Hebrew in his poem "Zohar" (=Brilliance): "Ben-suso-shel-Moshe-rabe(y)nu". Later the small horse became a cow: "Parat-Moshe-Rabenu". The latin name is "Coccinella", the french "coccinelle" or "bete a bon Dieu" and the Germans call it
"Marienkaefer", that is "Marias Beetle" or "Sonnenkaefer" (sun`s
beetle).

More discussion on this can be found in Mendele issues of circa May 1995. Mendele archives can be searched from http://sunsite.unc.edu/yiddish/mewais.html
from here.
 

OneWingedBird

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Isn't coccinelle also a dye product?

I tried dogpile-ing it but all I get are lots of hits for a French transgender cabaret artist.

Though curiously in Swiss it's an affectionate name for the VW Beetle car.
 

Min Bannister

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I also heard the radio 4 programme so it is funny that ladybirds come up again so soon!

Interestingly, I followed on from the link that Kenneth posted above, looking at the unusual varient pictures and the very first one has pictures of 7-spots with different numbers of spots! The accompanying paragraph says they can have anything from 0 to 9! So that may well be your answer, but it is pretty rare. Scrolling down to the very bottom is the asian ladybird which can also have little or no spots.

http://www.ladybird-survey.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/morladypics.htm
 

rynner2

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Ladybugs play havoc with golfers
Hitchcock might have called it "The Bugs."

Swarms of ladybugs are attacking golfers and harassing anyone in their path thanks to a robust summer aphid population, the red beetles' main food source.

"It's driving them nuts out there," said Bridget M. Blodgett, pro shop manager at Beech Hollow Golf Course, 7494 Hospital, in Freeland. "They're just en masse."

Blodgett said about a half-dozen golfers fled the links in fear of the vicious insects.

"They were getting bitten up, they were swarming like bees -- it was just unbelievable," she said. "They just couldn't stand it."

Temperatures approaching 80 degrees Wednesday awakened a red-speckled horde. Hard frosts killed the bumper crop of soybean aphids last month.

The ladybugs then left farmers' fields, though the continued chill kept them calm --until the Indian summer kicked in.

"The situation is that it was a really good year for aphids, environmentally, so (ladybug) populations were high, just consistently high, through the year," said Mark L. Seamon, Saginaw County's Michigan State University Extension agriculture agent.

"Because we had the high temperatures yesterday, that made them more active," he said, adding that the aphid-eaters will stay busy until warm temperatures retreat.

Highs are expected to remain in the 70s until Sunday.

Seamon said despite the infestation, the bite of the ladybug poses no health risk.

But the beetles are murder on your handicap, said Craig J. Marshall, a pro shop worker at Sandy Ridge Golf Course, 2750 Lauria, in Midland.

"They're just swarming all over you, all over your face, your body," he said. "It's hard to focus on hitting a shot because these bugs are just attacking you.

"I've seen gnats and mosquitos get after you," he added, "but I've never seen ladybugs like this before."
 

naitaka

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Ladybugs plague Niagara wineries

ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO -- A ladybug infestation that threatens the quality of wine is plaguing some grape growers. While the infestation of the Asian ladybug this summer was not nearly as bad as it was two years ago, farmers hoped the cool fall weather would prevent their presence. But this week's warmer weather has given the bugs a second wind.

If the ladybugs end up in the processed grapes, they can alter the taste of the wine. In 2001, the infestation damaged a million litres of one vintage.

http://www.canoe.ca/NewsStand/TorontoSun/News/2003/10/13/224707.html
 

Cavynaut

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Anybody remember the ladybird plague in 1976? I was working a summer job at the time, counting castings in the yard of an industrial belt manufacturer. The castings were kept in huge metal bins and every single one had a population of ladybirds. There must have been millions of them!
 

UsernameHere1

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*Gasp*

The ladybugs are starting their invasion! NNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!!
 
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Anonymous

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Question to entomologists

Does anyone know if it's true that the number of spots on "God's little cows" 's wings is related to their age? This scientific question has bothered me for decades :) All the kids in my neighbourhood strongly believed it was.

Also, has anyone seen yellow ladybirds (ladybugs) with black spots? I saw a lot of them when I was a kid. And also black ladybirds with red spots. We used to call those the Gypsy ladybirds.:eek!!!!: But the most mysterious ones were emerald-green bugs - were they ladibirds at all? I clearly remember them.
 
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Anonymous

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We've had a rather larger than normal infestation of ladybugs here in central Indiana the last two or three weeks,but it's been rather cool and windy the last few days and I haven't seen nearly as many.As to the emerald colored beetles,could they have been Japanese beetles?Little bastards ate almost all the leaves off of one of my apple trees this summer.
 

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Megaswarm of ladybugs lays waste to California. Radar images at link.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A huge blob that appeared on the National Weather Service’s radar wasn’t a rain cloud, but a massive swarm of ladybugs over Southern California.

Meteorologist Joe Dandrea says the array of bugs appeared to be about 80 miles wide as it flew over San Diego Tuesday. But Dandrea tells the Los Angeles Times that the ladybugs are actually spread throughout the sky, flying at between 5,000 and 9,000 feet, with the most concentrated group about 10 miles wide.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/lady...cid=newsltushpmgnews__TheMorningEmail__060619
 

AnonyJ

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Question to entomologists

Does anyone know if it's true that the number of spots on "God's little cows" 's wings is related to their age? This scientific question has bothered me for decades :) All the kids in my neighbourhood strongly believed it was.

Also, has anyone seen yellow ladybirds (ladybugs) with black spots? I saw a lot of them when I was a kid. And also black ladybirds with red spots. We used to call those the Gypsy ladybirds.:eek!!!!: But the most mysterious ones were emerald-green bugs - were they ladibirds at all? I clearly remember them.

I realise I'm 16 years late and not an entomologist (but did study some entomology at Uni). But in short:

No, the spots are a genetic variation in the species, and the number never changes during their life. Commonly known as the 2 spot and 7 spot Ladybirds.

'Harlequin' Ladybirds are an Asian subspecies that has migrated into Europe, they are generally black with red spots, and a rarer variant is orange with many black spots.

The yellow Ladybird beetles are one of the three subspecies native to the UK https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife-explorer/invertebrates/beetles/22-spot-ladybird

If you ever see this creature in your garden, be glad! It's a Ladybird larva and eats greenfly even more greedily than its mum and dad:

f409eb5bb7a4cd2412c34cc8d52a07678f57c027.jpg


Your emerald green beetle sounds like a Rose Chafer beetle (very pretty but unrelated to Ladybirds) :


Cetonia-aurata

I, Chrumps [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
 

Yithian

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I recall reading in Gerald Durrell's My Family & Other Animals of a mute character he dubbed 'The Rose-beetle Man' because he would wear a hat with 'Rose-beetles' tied to it.

I did have a little look around at the time, but I never discovered what a "Rose Beetle" was.

I now wonder whether it was one of those chaps above.

Edit: sounds likely.

Perhaps one of the most weird and fascinating characters I met during my travels was the Rose-beetle Man. He had a fairy-tale air about him that was ‘impossible to resist’,and I used to look forward eagerly to my infrequent meetings with him. I first saw him on a high, lonely road leading to one of the remote mountain villages. I could hear him long before I could see him for he was playing a rippling tune on ashepherd’s pipe, breaking off now and then to sing a few words in a curious, nasal voice. As he rounded the corner both Roger and I stopped and stared at him in amazement.
He had a sharp, fox-like face with large, slanting eyes of such a dark brown that they appeared black. They had a weird, vacant look about them, and a sort of bloom such 10 as one finds on a plum, a pearly covering almost like a cataract. He was short and slight, with a thinness about his wrists and neck that argued a lack of food. His dress was fantastic, and on his head was a shapeless hat with a very wide, floppy brim. It had once been bottle-green, but was now speckled with dust, wine-stains, and cigarette-burns. In the band were stuck a fluttering forest of feathers: cock-feathers, hoopoe-feathers, owl-feathers, with the wing of a kingfisher, the claw of a hawk, and a large dirty white feather that may have come from a swan. His coat was dark and shapeless, with patches of different hues here and there; on the sleeve a bit of white cloth with a design of rosebuds; on the shoulder a triangular patch of wine-red and white spots. The pockets of this garment bulged, the contents almost spilling out: 20 combs, balloons, little highly coloured pictures of the saints, olive-wood carvings of snakes, camels, dogs and horses, cheap mirrors, a riot of handkerchiefs, and long twisted rolls of bread decorated with seeds. His trousers, patched like his coat, drooped over a pair of scarlet charouhias, leather shoes with upturned toes decorated with a large black-and-white pompon. This extraordinary character carried on his back bamboo cages full of pigeons and young chickens, several mysterious sacks, and a large bunch of fresh green leeks. With one hand he held his pipe to his mouth, and in the other a number of lengths of cotton, to each of which was tied an almond-size rose-beetle, glittering golden green in the sun, all of them flying round his hat with desperate, deep buzzings, trying to escape from the thread tied firmly round their 30 waists. Occasionally, tired of circling round and round without success, one of the beetles would settle for a moment on his hat, before launching itself off once more on its endless merry-go-round.
I asked what the rose-beetles were for, and why he had them tied with pieces of cotton. He held his hand out to denote small boys, took one of the lengths of cotton from which a beetle hung, and whirled it rapidly round his head. Immediately the insect came to life and started on its planet-like circling of his hat, and he beamed at me. Pointing up at the sky, he stretched his arms out and gave a deep nasal buzzing, while he banked and swooped across the road. Aeroplane, any fool could see that. Then he pointed to the beetles, held out his hand to denote children, and whirled his 40 stock of beetles round his head so that they all started to buzz peevishly.
Source:​
 
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