What is beetle juice

Beetle juice: Asian ladybirds in the fruit

During my research on the Internet, I gathered the following information: The appearance of the Asian ladybirds (Harmonia axyridis) is very different, there are beetles with red, orange and black wing-coverts and the number of points can be between 0 and 19. Their size is about 6-8 mm. As I have read, an important feature of the Asian ladybug is the black "M" on the white pronotum, which does not always have to be present.

That is of course a terrific description of this Asian lady beetle. It can be colored from red to orange to black, can, but does not have to have any points, but then at most 19 or at least 21 and should, but often does not have, the "M" on the white pronotum.

One of our well-known domestic ladybirds, the 7-point ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata), also grows to approx. 6 to 8 mm, has red elytra and always 7 black points. Even so, the beetles can easily be confused with the Asian ladybird.

Asian ladybugs: friend and foe?

On the one hand, one is happy when these beetles eat the pests in the gardens, on the other hand, gardeners break the collar when the pest killers nibble on their fruits. Asian ladybugs are said to eat up to 270 aphids a day, our native seven-point ladybirds can only eat 50 lice a day.

The Asian ladybirds are not limited to aphids, they eat scale insects, spider mites and leaf fleas. In autumn, to the chagrin of the garden owner, the adult animals also like to feed on ripe fruits. The little fellows seem to have a considerable appetite and if there are no aphids left, you have to feed on something else.

The beetles should preferably use existing holes in the fruit peel, e.g. were gnawed by wasps. No matter how you get the fruit, you have a preference for sweet fruits.

Beetle wine and beetle juice (Beetlejuice)

The autumn food of the Asian ladybird includes ripe fruits such as peaches, plums (plums), apples and blackberries, raspberries. Since nibbled fruit is difficult to sell, the beneficial insect becomes a pest in this way.

But not only nibbled fruit is the problem. In America, winemakers have watched the beetles feast on their grapes. A new flavor note was discovered in wine, which is described as “burnt peanut butter” and “rancid peanut”. Definitely not a taste that wine should have!

So it is beetle wine. Beetle wine but also beetle juice is created as follows: This interesting burnt peanut aroma comes from the alkaloids that our local ladybugs use to protect themselves against their predators. The Asian ladybug, however, produces a concentration that is about a hundred times higher. When threatened or disrupted, it releases these antibodies with reflex bleeding. This is exactly what he does even if he is disturbed during the fruit harvest and this is how this unpleasant note comes in in juices and wines. The beneficial insect thus becomes a pest itself.

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