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May 06 2013

Moar Nature Porn! World Premiere of Le Lascivious Lady Beetles

I hope many of you remember our maiden effort at creating quality nature porn with fondness. Eventually, I’ll be making further forays into the ondonta orgy business, but today we’re doing lady beetles. Well, the lady beetles were doing each other, but we’ve done the photographing and setting to music and so forth.

These would appear to be two Multicolored Asian Lady Beetles (Harmonia axyridis) doing the deed for the good of the species. They’re introduced. Well, obviously, they introduced themselves to each other, hopefully before the boinking began, but what I mean is, they’ve been brought into the United States from – wait for it – Asia. They’re prolific little aphid killers. Save trees from ‘em, in fact. But they bite. They’re biters. Don’t fondle them like you might a regular domestic and docile lady beetle. You know what, avoid fondling beetles altogether, you dirty person. And don’t upset or squish this species unless you want to dye the surface they’re on a nice yellow.

So, mating. I couldn’t find a lot of detail on how such oddly-shaped creatures manage to mate. Every site skimmed right over that. They’d say things like, “They mate in spring!” and then skip right to “and then she lays her eggs.” No salacious facts. No intimate look at the intimacy. The closest I could come was this:

Though Asian lady beetle adult females are prolific egg layers, their reproduction depends on one key ingredient, prey. Without living prey (such as aphids) Asian lady beetles do not have the protein and/or energy they need to produce eggs.

Righty, then. Well, we know our female is well-fed. Bravo for that. Hopefully someone in the audience can fill in the other details. For science!

Once again, I owe a huge thank you to Eric “Dirk Hardman” Kenning for the perfect soundtrack. And I owe my friend B my everlasting gratitude for spotting these two busy beetles. I was distracted by the first rose of spring, so we wouldn’t have had this quality scientific film without his sharp eyes.

Also, yes, I’m reasonably sure I’ve got my French wrong, and it should be “les.” I’m just too damned lazy to go back and change it now.

Stills below for those as wants ‘em.

Lusty Lady Beetles I

Lusty Lady Beetles I

Lusty Lady Beetles II

Lusty Lady Beetles II

Lusty Lady Beetles III

Lusty Lady Beetles III

Lusty Lady Beetles IV

Lusty Lady Beetles IV

7 comments

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  1. 1
    Gregory in Seattle

    If you want French, it would be les coccinelles. Also, keep in mind that “lady beetles” implies that they are both female, and thus not doing anything to further the replication of the species.

  2. 2
    rq

    I think it’s a take on ladybugs, but they’re not official bugs (that would be Hemiptera), they’re actually beetles.
    Nice video, nice music. Very appropriate. Boom-chicka-boom.
    Did you see the lascivious beetles I sent you? Lots of insect sex around here!

  3. 3
    Trebuchet

    @ Gregory: I assume you’re joking but just in case, “lady beetle” is the common name for the genus; preferred by entomologists over “ladybug” because, as rq points out, they aren’t true bugs.

    I myself was going to say something about one of them being a gentleman beetle….

  4. 4
    lochaber

    I can vouch for the biting bit.

    When I was in college (coincidentally, on my way to a geology class…), a ladybug landed on my arm.

    I found it kinda amusing, so I didn’t bother to brush it off or anything, and it stayed there, and I got to class.

    It didn’t seem to be interested in leaving, and was an amusing distraction up until I felt a tiny little pinch/prick type sensation. It spent the next couple minutes chewing at my skin, and then flew off after a bit. Left a tiny (maybe ~1mm?) little raw spot on my arm.

    Kinda an interesting experience. Although, not many people believe me when I say ladybugs will bite (maybe chew is more accurate)

  5. 5
    Lithified Detritus

    The native ladybug/beetles don’t bite, just the Asian variety.

    What is it with Dana and her fascination with alien invasive species, anyway? ;-)

  6. 6
    Trebuchet

    Dana’s a geology buff. Compared to rocks, they’re ALL invasive species! Including us.

    1. 6.1
      rq

      *Like*

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