Vinoland is teeming with ladybirds right now. They can be found out in the vineyard in each of their four stages of development; from eggs, to larvae, to pupal stage (shown above), finally emerging as cheerfully enrobed adults. Hippodamia convergens, commonly known as the convergent lady beetle, is the native ladybird species in this part of northern California. I am very happy to see them in such abundant numbers, it means that our vineyard is a healthy and thriving mini eco-system. The fauna living on the vineyard floor, and up in the canopy, are numerous and diversified.
Some alarmist folks warn of the possible problem of ladybird taint, (certain unpleasant volatile compounds that impair the taste or bouquet of a finished wine), if there are a sufficient number of the insects on winegrapes when they are being processed. In more than a decade of witnessing ton after ton of grapes being processed I can't say I am overly concerned with what would be an extremely rare phenomenon. Lots of spiders and earwigs, that unfortunately do not live to tell their tale, but no ladybirds.