Oh Boy! Look what I found! It’s a cluster of Asian Ladybugs (or Lady Beetles) hibernating under tree bark:
I’m currently reading a wonderful book by Bernd Heinrich titled, Winter World. In Heinrich’s book he describes various animal techniques for survival in the winter. The book takes you through animals/insects who look dead but are not and simply “defrost” at springtime to birds which do not hibernate, but have adapted strategies to keep their warmth and energy at a controllable levels. Very interesting!
Anyway, Heinrich encourages peaking under tree bark to see what you may find in the dead of winter. So I did! Oooooo!
I counted 18 Asian Beetles huddled together. I did not break off the bark, but simply pried it with one hand and took a photo with the other, recovering them when I was finished. Asian ladybugs are various in color (red, orange, yellow, yellow-green) and do not have predictable dot patterns on their back. One beetle may have two black spots and another eight.
With those exciting characteristics I couldn’t resist sketching them! Oh the variety!
Chris- A very neat find, and a great sketch. My co-worker and i were just discussing Heinrich. His books are pretty good, but sometimes they can be pretty hard to get through. His “A Year in the Maine Woods” is set about 30 minutes north of my in-laws’ place.
Ah…Asian beetles! That’s what they are! Sometimes (in Canada,) there’d be hundreds (or thousands,) of these on a single tree (or clustering in my spiral stairwell.) I knew they weren’t ladybugs, but wasn’t sure what they were. Thanks for the insight!
There is just something about your sketch and them little critters that is completely appealing to me. I have only been visiting your blog for a short time now and obviously have not seen all your sketches….but for now, this one is my favorite.
We have had quite a few Asian beetles coming into our house this year. Wish they would stay in the tree. I love Heinrich and especially that book Winter World.
Wow, great find. On my Winter Wednesday last week, we were to look for wintering insects. This entry is a perfect example.
Would you mind adding a link to my Mr. Linky so other families can see this great example?
Thanks for such an inspiring blog.
Barb-Harmony Art Mom
Tom: Holy cow! Maybe your in-laws saw Heinrich jogging down the street collecting road kill for Bubo (his pet owl) or Jack (his pet ravin) TOO COOL! I love that book I read it twice!
Lana: Your welcome! They’re beautiful unless you have them in your house of course!
Alan G: That’s such a nice thing to say! Thank you so much it makes me smile!
Joan: Yes I’m loving that book too, but glad I do not have the house invasion of the beetles! Not yet anyway. I hear they leave a stinky smell if bothered. I hope your Asian beetles find their own homes!
Barb: Thanks! I will do that. What a neat idea. I learn so much from your site!
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