Seeley Swan Pathfinder -


By Sigrid Olson

Beetles with a view


November 29, 2018

Brian Olson

Lady beetles clustered at 7,650 feet on Sheep Mountain in Missoula County, Montana Nov. 3, 2018.

Ladybugs are not 'bugs' but actually beetles in the order Coleoptera and swarm on or around mountain peaks. Common species in the Blackfoot Watershed include the convergent lady beetle, Hippodamia convergens.

This lady beetle gathering can be a regular occurrence. For many years this phenomenon has been seen worldwide as well as in Montana.

Called 'summit ladybugs', the different lady beetle species can be found in different alpine locations by the hundreds, thousands or even ten thousands.

Lady beetles have a hard shell or wing case called elytra which protects their wings. This wing case...

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