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Multicolored Asian Lady Beetles - Harmonia axyridis

Multicolored Asian Lady Beetles - Harmonia axyridis
Camden County, New Jersey, USA
November 4, 2009
Swarming outside my home, trying to get in for the winter!

This was just a small portion of the swarm that attempted to enter my house over a 3 day period in November! Later I discovered that an elementary school just down the street had released several thousand to help with pest control....I guess they all ended up at my house (word must have spread that I'm bug-friendly...haha)!

I'm all for teaching kids about nature, but...
...releasing thousands of invasive MALBs isn't exactly pest control. (I actually am not one of the "MALBs are agents of the Apocalypse!" hardliners, but in the fall they pretty much qualify as pests themselves.)

But as I said, teaching kids about nature and the theory of natural pest control is great. It beats the "let's spray the heck out of everything six-legged" approach, that's for sure. The school might benefit from a different naturally-controlling agent, though.

great look at size and pattern variations!
Everyone knows the Multicolored Asian LB is multicolored and then some, but the size range is less obvious except in huge aggregations like this. Some of them are barely half the size of the others. Good ventral views too, also with differing color/pattern - not as variable as the dorsum, but looks like H. axyridis can have venter ranging from pale yellow-orange with hardly any dark areas to deep red-orange with dark central areas on the metathoracic and first few abdominal sterna.

mass of beetles
That's quite a collection of beetles!

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