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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Why is she so happy and content


Today I rescued a ladybug that fell off of my Venetian blind in my living room.  When I put her in my room between the outside screen and the window she refused to stay there trying to get away but she kept turning over.  When I picked her up she was full of life on my finger, but every time I put her down on the sill even inside she kept turning over.  

Then I took part of a rag and put her in the middle of it and turned up the outer part like a wall. She is so content, do you know why?

One more thing, one of her wings remained outside until I put her in the rag now it looks like the wing went back inside.

Dear Debbie - First off, I do not believe that it is possible to tell whether any insect is 'happy' or 'content', as we have no way of knowing how they perceive their environment in any neurological context. If by 'content' you mean that the beetle had ceased movement, that simply could mean that it either was not receiving any stimuli that would trigger movement or that it had become exhausted and needed to rest. As for the wing you observed, beetles usually have to fold their flight wings one at a time, so it is not at all unusual to see them with one wing seeming to protrude from under its wing covers (elytra).

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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