Fly Away Home

Aug 27, 2008

We netted the floundering California lady beetle (Coccinella californica) aka "lady bug," from our swimming pool.

She didn't look like the familiar lady beetle, reddish orange with black spots. One spot was all she had.

And little life left.

Then, slowly, miraculously, she opened her wings to dry out, looking somewhat like a drenched DeLorean with its doors flung open.

She reminded us of the nursery rhyme:

Ladybug! Ladybug!
Fly away home.
Your house is on fire.
And your children all gone.

All except one.
And that's little Ann.
For she crept under
The frying pan.

I don't know if she flew home. She definitely didn't creep under a frying pan.

But our little Hemiptera predator did live to see another day, and perhaps feast on another aphid or two.

Or a scale insect, mealybug or mite.

By Kathy Keatley Garvey
Author - Communications specialist

Attached Images:

A California lady beetle, aka lady bug, spreads her wings to dry after a near-drowning in a swimming pool. The lady beetle is a beneficial insect. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

California lady beetle