Seven-Spotted Ladybug

Sometimes, the origins of insects’ names are pretty inscrutable, but not that of the Seven-spotted Ladybug. Its name does need a little unpacking, though – like the firefly/lightning bug, the ladybug/ladybird is a beetle (alternate name, lady beetle). The Lady in question is the Virgin, to whom the people in the Middle Ages prayed when aphids were devouring their crops, and who is said to have responded by sending this species of aphid-loving beetle.

Summer Survey

The BugLady is spending as much time as she can in the field (and the rest of it editing pictures) because, you know, the Summer Solstice has passed, and a little wave of warblers moved through her yard the other day, and winter is coming. Many of these beauties have already starred in their own BOTW. In a nutshell – there’s a whole lot of romance in the air.

Red-Shouldered Pine Borer

Meet another of the BugLady’s new neighbors, a handsome black beetle with red epaulets called the Red-shouldered Pine Borer. It came to her front door – well, actually, it was trapped in her front door, between the screen and the raised glass of the storm door, and its rescue involved dismantling the glass/screen assembly with one hand while holding a jar beneath the beetle with the other (empty flip-top Parmesan cheese containers make excellent bug jars). Five days later, it happened again, with the appearance of the red individual.

Gold and Brown Rove Beetle

July is turning out to be Beetle Month, and here’s a beauty. It’s a Rove beetle, family Staphylinidae, a beetle family that rivals the weevils (and the Ichneumonid wasps) for the title of largest animal family (and scientists are still discovering new species). It will lose its place if a proposal to divide the Staphylinidae into four families gains traction.

Thistle Head Weevil

Another week, another alien beetle eating an alien thistle. The BugLady found this pair of weevils while she was chasing Thistle tortoise beetles (clearly, it’s a weevil that gets a lot of mileage out of its food plant). And, in the “Ain’t the Internet Grand” category, a Google search for “weevil on thistle” resulted in a quick ID.

Thistle Tortoise Beetle

The BugLady was wandering the trails at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve recently when she spied a lovely green Thistle Tortoise Beetle on Canada thistle. Tortoise beetles have made previous BOTW appearances in the form of the Mottled tortoise beetle in 2014 and the Horsemint tortoise beetle in 2016. After she saw an adult, the BugLady started looking for larvae on some of the scruffier-looking plants.

Lightning Beetle Again

OK – this is a love story of sorts. It’s an episode that originated in 2009, and it has already been rerun once and now rewritten again. But…..the BugLady just returned from southern Ohio, where she co-led a workshop about Bugs and Wonder (an unappreciated, sometimes suspect, and insufficiently-entertained state of mind) (and mostly we could say that about the bugs, too). We trawled the prairies and woods for bugs during the day, and at dusk and into the night, we hunted for fireflies.

Bugs without Bios XII

The BugLady is feeling a little cranky. It’s snowing as she’s writing this – 3” to 5” are expected, and the temperatures predicted for the next week mean that the snow’s not going anywhere soon, so the newly-returned robins, cranes and killdeer will be very unhappy – and she’s leading her first woodcock and frog walk in three weeks. To take our minds off of the snow, here are a few insects about which the information is sparse, though they are undoubtedly worthy.

Bugs in the News IV

Ever since the BugLady started her “Bugs in the News” sub-series, alert BugFans have been sending links to articles they’ve come across. Thanks, BugFans! Alas, to view a few of these, you have to wade through some ad content.

Bugs Without Bios XI

This week, The BugLady introduces some insects that, while not totally unsung, still have a pretty low profile.