Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Fly Away Home. Before I Swat You.

Awww, look at that ladybug. This is an even prettier picture than I took this morning of the ladybug in my office, the photographing of which was entirely beyond the capabilities of my point-and-shoot camera. (Seriously--I now have a dozen out-of-focus shots featuring a ballpoint pen for size reference. I do not concede defeat easily, but a good picture was beyond me.) My south-facing window sill is a haven for these little hard-shelled darlings during these unseasonably warm January days, kind of a ladybug Bermuda without the overseas flight.

Anyway, I wanted the picture of a ladybug (or, to be exact, a multi-colored Asian ladybeetle) because, oh, so cute! So nursery rhyme reminiscent! So miniature-Volkswagen-ish!

Also, because I was planning to dispose of this multi-colored Asian ladybeetle, and needed to remind myself that these are some seriously nasty adorably polka-dotted creatures.

Did you know they bite? I did not, until one bit me. More accurately, it spurred me. This important distinction was made by the Michigan State University Extension Service in its informational pamphlet, appropriately titled "Multi-colored Asian Ladybeetle Information." Right there it reassures me that I was not hallucinating when I felt that nip: Sometimes the Asian lady beetles bite skin, but often this stinging sensation is actually caused by small spurs on the beetle's legs pricking skin as they move and evaluate whether or not the skin is a food source.

Fortunately, this is not the most disgusting thing these ladybugs do.Thank you, Mich-St-Ext-Ser, for letting me know that "When multi-colored Asian lady beetles are agitated they give off a yellowish fluid that has a faint, foul odor. This is a defensive reaction to ward off predators. It is called 'reflex bleeding.' The liquid is exuded from its legs and it can stain."

Ewwww. I believe I will stop feeling guilty about sucking them up with the vacuum cleaner.  

No comments:

Post a Comment