Sep 07 2015
On my August 23 outing in Schenley Park, we found something near Panther Hollow Lake (pond) that we’d never seen before: a pair of Asian lady beetles mating.
Asian lady beetles (Harmonia axyridis) are the non-native species released in Pennsylvania years ago to control aphids. They’re now so successful that they’re annoying, especially when they invade our houses in the fall.
As the pair embraced on a plant stalk, we noticed the male was smaller than the female and that she stood still while he was rocking. They were mating when we found them and they continued after we walked away. Who knew that bugs had so much stamina.
The female beetle may have laid a lot of eggs afterward but we won’t be overrun by her offspring. The bugs were on the dirt pile created by Public Works when they fixed the pond overflow last spring. After a long hiatus the pond project resumed on August 24. Now the dirt pile and plants are gone.
These two are “lady beetles” but only one of them is a lady.
(photos by Kate St. John)
p.s. Here we are before we went down to see the lady beetles.