Every winter, ladybirds break their solitude and assemble for a once-in-a-lifetime love-fest
The Hippodamia convergens (the convergent ladybug, or ladybird) beetle spends most of its life alone, feasting on aphids and other small, soft-bodied insects. But each year as the cold weather sets in, they migrate to hibernation hiding places – generally the same cozy spots. Their journey is made all the more impressive by the fact that the insects, which live only up to a year, have never been to the meet-up points before. Scientists believe that they find their way using pheromone trails left by previous generations. And, as this short video from the science documentary series Deep Look shows, when they assemble en masse to enter a state of diapause and eventually mate in the spring, it’s a natural wonder worth beholding. You can read more about this insect’s lifecycle at KQED Science.