Dowdy-Cow, Dowdy-Cow, ride away haeme

3 May 2006

It gets worse (better?). Those frisky Asian Lady Beetles (Harmonia axyridis), stars of a previous post, are at it again. But this time they’ve brought a male Convergent Lady Beetle (Hippodamia convergens) along for the ride.

As if polyamory wasn’t risque enough, these beetles are blatantly breaking the “inter-species sex taboo“. I imagine the “spicy” personal ad in the Ladybird Beat went something like this:

Mature Asian couple seeks unattached male Coccinellid, gender unimportant, microsporidia and std free, for friendship first…then?

It’s nice to see a California native (though widely exported as a pest-control agent) on top, even if he is a bit too typically misguided.

I would not expect viable offspring to result from a Harmonia x Hippodamia mating, though my knowledge of the breeding biology of beetles is rather slim.

I also came across a Harmonia larva, mowing down aphids on a Fava:

Much commentary on the Pharyngula prop centered upon negative impacts resulting from the introduction of the Asian Lady (H. axyridis).  No doubt may Harmonia may well turn out to be the beetle equivalent of the starling or mongoose.  Still, I have to confess a personal respect for these super-predators after watching larva and adult alike carve swathes through pulsating flocks of aphids.

I also stumbled across a mating Crane Fly (family Tipulidae) couple adopting a more exotic position in the onion rows:

Crane Flies are throbbing here in California just as they are in Maryland and surely much of the Northern Hemisphere. Better Crane Fly pics and much more, including a stacking of Japanese Beetles that puts the ladybugs to shame, can be found at the Bug Love portion of

I’m still standing on the elytra of goliaths.

6 Responses to “Dowdy-Cow, Dowdy-Cow, ride away haeme”

  1. Pedro Says:

    Thanks for the comment! The cane can mean the western world or maybe the staff of the shaman and the coyote the native american spirit, damaged by the first colonists. The coyote was seen as a plague by colonists and as a high spirit by natives. The process is seems like a healing process (the felt blanket in which Beuys was transported from the airport to the gallery), between the old european world and the gods of the New World. Just some interpretations out of many possibilities. Another one is the biblical approach: Isaias, the biblical prophet, writes about a time when the wolf and the lamb will eat side by side. So many possibilities, very quantical as you put it.

  2. Microecos, I hope that you don’t mind that I borrowed the more demure of your photos on the three ladybugs mating:

    On the promiscuous amours of ladybugs…

    It’s now part of my short series on ladybugs (which includes a video that you ought to see, given your prurient interest in the sexual habits of these insects.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  3. Neil Says:


    I’m happy to be included in your Ladybug sexposé. The video is pretty outrageous, those Harmonia are quite a bit more creative than any I’ve seen so far.

  4. Thanks, Neil. You’ve got a great blog, by the way. It looks scientific and sounds literary. Also, it looks literary and sounds scientific. Good combination.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  5. Gilberto Rangel Says:

    To Jeffery Hodges.
    I would like to see your interesting video on ladybirds sexual habits. Will appreciate if
    you have the link or website.
    This of “manage of three” is amaizing.A friend of mine is an expert in ladybirds, and she will love it. Thanks.

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