Colorado's wide spectrum of wildlife ranges from massive mammals, like moose and elk, to the tiniest and almost microscopic creatures, like burrowing owls and beetles galore. Some species are more frequently seen than others, but even the smallest critters serve a purpose in Colorado's diverse ecosystems.

For example, there are approximately 80 different species of ladybugs in Colorado, but they are less often observed because of their size. In fact, many people might not know that at certain times of the year, thousands of these spotted insects invade areas of the state.

If you look hard enough, you'll find itty bitty bugs hard at work throughout the Front Range and beyond.

Colorado's high country is the perfect place for ladybugs to stay protected during the colder months. Then, during the late spring and early summer, convergent native ladybugs migrate to different areas in Colorado, where they form mass colonies to breed and live. Before heading back to the mountains for the winter, these bright red bugs feast on ample amounts of aphids found in gardens and fields across the state.

Austin Ban/Unsplash
Austin Ban/Unsplash

Peek closely between the cracks of rocks or in the blades of tall grass and you might observe thousands of these bright red bugs hiding from predators. Up in the mountains, clusters of these harmless bugs can be found on flat surfaces and crawling on logs. Some people are lucky enough to have ladybugs living naturally in their yard - a bonus for gardeners, as they can help keep the plot free of other unwanted bugs, like mites and ants.

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According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, Blodgett Peak, Cameron Cone, and Mount Rosa in the Springs area are hotspots for ladybugs. Devil’s Head in the Pike National Forest and Green Mountain near Boulder are also popular places with high ladybug potential.

Colorado's increased rainfall has made the food supply for ladybugs extra plentiful, which means we'll be seeing even more of these insects in the coming months.

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