Ladybug plays with sprinkles

(video link) Okay, so the ladybug batting around the little round sprinkles in this video probably isn't really "playing" with them, but it looks like she is and that what makes this so much fun to watch. (via Blame it on the Voices)



  1. Frankly this presentation of hunter/killer instincts presented as “play” makes me angry. If those had been real aphids, they would be DEAD!

  2. More interestingly, is that a Harlequin ladybug? If so, they are considered a major nuisance around here. To the point that if you are in doubt when trying to identify one, there is a government order to shoot first and identify it later.

  3. Cute! I find it amusing that the brightly colored elytra (wing case) are most likely evolved to warn predators away, but we humans just find them adorable.

    The larvae are definitely not cute, but I guess most larvae aren’t.

  4. The bug’s mastery of backspin makes me jealous. And its inability to bite into one of those baubles has me frustrated. Dammit, now I’m angry, too! Angry as if a caiman bit an electric eel!

    1. Or, it may be an actual description, given that these beetles are in fact from Asia and not native to North America. As usual, invasive species do well in a new environment as their predators and prey did not co-evolve with them.

  5. It seems to me that those sprinkles are largely dispersed by static electricity as the beetle approaches them. When you’re that tiny, static electricity must be a major pain in the abdomen.

    1. Cunning, Ya know, I’m glad you brought this up – I thought I was seeing things. Is it really static electricity, or does this beetle have special psychokinetic powers?! ;-)

  6. “Play” may be a bit of a stretch… but this curious insect is definitely exploring and experimenting.

    God I love insects!!! And anyone who respects them.

  7. As far as what exactly it is – a “ladybug” has always described a spectrum of related species; even multiple phyla. Some orange ones bite, some don’t, same deal with the red ones. They all stink if crushed, but some can make themselves stink as a defense when handled. The red ones generally contain less funk (particularly after their final instar), but nearly all of these insects and their larvae carry some amount of the same funk in their bodies.

    IANA entomologist, but I’ve been a hobbyist for 28-29 years, and an expert since I was 7.

  8. I chewed on one of these after it had flown into my beefaroni. It gave the bite an immediate tang. When I dug through the mouthful of pasta I spat in my sink and found a polka dotted shell, my appetite had an anxiety attack. I now hate both ladybugs and beefaroni.

  9. Last spring I saw some ladybugs trapped on a windowsill along with a couple smaller insects of some sort. Every now and then a ladybug would pick up one of the smaller bugs and flip it around, examining it, before putting it back down again. I guess the smaller buglets’ flavor was not up to ladybug standards.

    Anon #25: something similar happened to me, also last summer. I was eating small candies and popped a ladybug into my mouth. I somehow knew what it was the instant I felt it, so I didn’t bite. I spit it out and set it outside – and it did not move the entire time. I think it was even more shocked than I.

  10. Thank you, Xeni. The original ladybug video was the cutest thing I’ve seen all day.

    And thank you, donniebnyc. The Benny Hillified version was the funniest thing I’ve seen all day.

  11. That is VERY interesting. The lady bug goes after a sprinkle, seems to try to bite it, it rolls away and the lady bug acts like it’s vanished. Can the lady bug tell the sprinkles are sugary? Why doesn’t the lady bug chase after the sprinkle when it gets a little ways away? Is it because it can’t see the sprinkle or because it can see it but doesn’t understand that the sprinkle is what it was just chasing?

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