Big Bend Chat

Big Bend National Park Q&A => Hiking the Mountains => Topic started by: twystoflemon on May 24, 2016, 08:28:00 PM

Title: Ladybugs on Emory Peak?
Post by: twystoflemon on May 24, 2016, 08:28:00 PM
Does anyone know what is up with the swarms of ladybugs (and some other tiny flying insects) at Emory Peak?  I encountered this progressively more concentrated and rabid swarm as we summited Emory on Saturday afternoon.  It was a major disappointment to be rushed off the peak by what are usually such friendly and luck-producing insects.  I have never seen anything like it, and my friend who lives in the area and has been up Emory Peak numerous times had not seen that before either. It was so bad that we had to don bandanas around our faces to keep from inhaling them.  Thanks!

-K.
Title: Re: Ladybugs on Emory Peak?
Post by: The Scorpion on May 24, 2016, 08:41:37 PM
Wow, never encountered insects up there, but i know one year down in the basin there was a major swarm of some small flying insect, they were so bad had to run around the truck before getting in so i would not be covered in them

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Title: Re: Ladybugs on Emory Peak?
Post by: TexasAggieHiker on May 24, 2016, 09:05:45 PM
Entomologist aren't really sure why they converge on mountain tops.  They do it around the world.  I've seen them covering the peaks at Guadalupe Mountains.

(http://i.imgur.com/VaqDvzH.jpg)
Title: Re: Ladybugs on Emory Peak?
Post by: Casa Grande on May 24, 2016, 10:40:11 PM
Yes, I've seen them up there several times over the years. No idea why.

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Title: Re: Ladybugs on Emory Peak?
Post by: Homer Wilson on May 24, 2016, 10:44:18 PM
Saw them all over Mt Locke in the Davis a couple times too. Coolest at the highest elevations?
Title: Re: Ladybugs on Emory Peak?
Post by: Talusman on May 25, 2016, 07:23:57 AM
Yes, I've seen them up there several times over the years. No idea why.

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Here is a post I read after last weekend, as again I also saw swarms of them on top of Shumard Peak.

http://www.summitpost.org/exploring-the-mystery-of-summit-ladybugs/723486/p2
Title: Re: Ladybugs on Emory Peak?
Post by: mr.bean5150 on May 25, 2016, 08:24:07 AM
They are "LADY" bugs.....it's their perogative.....
Title: Re: Ladybugs on Emory Peak?
Post by: Homer Wilson on May 25, 2016, 09:29:06 AM
Yes, I've seen them up there several times over the years. No idea why.

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Here is a post I read after last weekend, as again I also saw swarms of them on top of Shumard Peak.

http://www.summitpost.org/exploring-the-mystery-of-summit-ladybugs/723486/p2
A very detailed article. And I learned that ladybug dealers are a thing.
Title: Re: Ladybugs on Emory Peak?
Post by: twystoflemon on May 25, 2016, 11:22:49 AM
Thanks for the responses everyone!

-K.
Title: Re: Ladybugs on Emory Peak?
Post by: tx1c on May 25, 2016, 12:50:30 PM
We saw the ladybugs on Emory Peak last October.  We didn't experience any of the swarming around. 
I didn't expect them up there so it was an interesting surprise. 
Title: Re: Ladybugs on Emory Peak?
Post by: VivaTerlingua on May 25, 2016, 01:53:03 PM
I hiked up to Emory Peak on Sunday and saw a few ladybugs, nowhere near as many as you saw.  I did see a Texas Alligator Lizard on the Pinnacles trail though.

(http://i.imgur.com/U2FghXj.jpg)
Title: Re: Ladybugs on Emory Peak?
Post by: Jalco on May 25, 2016, 03:10:37 PM
I hiked up to Emory Peak on Sunday and saw a few ladybugs, nowhere near as many as you saw.  I did see a Texas Alligator Lizard on the Pinnacles trail though.

(http://i.imgur.com/U2FghXj.jpg)

One of these guys gave me quite a scare last year.  Hiking out to the Rim, we came across a rattler on the trail.  No problem, gently coax him off the trail and ease on by.

On my return trip, though, coming thru the tall grass just as you get into the upper end of Boot Canyon, Mr. Lizard zipped out of the grass and across my boot.  I just remember seeing something round, slithery, and stripedy, and hearing someone scream like a little girl  :icon_redface:
Title: Re: Ladybugs on Emory Peak?
Post by: ds9writer on May 26, 2016, 01:50:11 PM
The article did mention they feast on aphids during the spring... maybe there are aphids (less visible than the ladybugs) all over the peaks and that's what draws the ladybugs???

(non-botanist/zoologist/etymologist supposition there, no expertise claimed)
Title: Re: Ladybugs on Emory Peak?
Post by: SA Bill on May 26, 2016, 06:34:18 PM
There were times in the past when I was up on the roof area of a tall building in downtown San Antonio and there were swarms up there. Something about needing to go to a high place and gather...natural or man made...I guess.
  Bill
Title: Re: Ladybugs on Emory Peak?
Post by: Jalco on May 27, 2016, 04:35:38 PM
I demoed an older house in Bastrop last summer.  They were all up in the stud bays.  I've never seen so many together at one time.  Really freaky. :nailbitting:
Title: Re: Ladybugs on Emory Peak?
Post by: House Made of Dawn on October 28, 2016, 09:26:37 PM
My daughter and I summitted Emory Peak in August 2009 and it was absolutely covered with Ladybugs. I took the attached photo then. Doesn't show many, but trust me, I could barely get her up the peak because she couldn't leave them alone. She was in Ladybug heaven. I suspect this year's rains have something to do with the abundance.
Title: Re: Ladybugs on Emory Peak?
Post by: Talusman on October 29, 2016, 08:30:30 AM
Almost every year in Texas, on any peak I will see hordes of them gathering at high altitudes. Guadalupe, Shumard, El Capitan and Lost Mine are some of the ones I have seen this on lately. Any high point in the Davis Mountains the same way. I looked it up last year and many scientists can't agree in the reasons. One theory is at high altitude there are fewer birds to bother them. Google it up and read, it's pretty interesting. Someone here may have a lot more info as well.
Title: Re: Ladybugs on Emory Peak?
Post by: Jalco on October 29, 2016, 04:32:49 PM
As a tangent to this topic, I demo-ed a (really) old house a few years ago and, upon demo-ing the drywall, was surprised (and a little freaked out) to find hordes of ladybugs in every stud bay.  One or two ladybugs are cute, but an army of them lurking in dark places was just a little too creepy for me  :willynilly:
Title: Re: Ladybugs on Emory Peak?
Post by: House Made of Dawn on October 29, 2016, 05:52:41 PM
As a tangent to this topic, I demo-ed a (really) old house a few years ago and, upon demo-ing the drywall, was surprised (and a little freaked out) to find hordes of ladybugs in every stud bay.  One or two ladybugs are cute, but an army of them lurking in dark places was just a little too creepy for me  :willynilly:

One lady good. A thousand angry ones, not so much.  :willynilly: