80-mile ladybug swarm caught on weather radars in California

80-mile ladybug swarm caught on weather radars in California

A ladybug crawls on new honey mesquite leaves as recovery from a 2005 wildfire continues at Big Morongo Wildlife Preserve on April 11, 2007 in Morongo Valley, California. 

Weather radars picked up something unusual Tuesday: a large swarm of ladybugs flying in Southern California.

Officials with the National Weather Service’s San Diego office shared a photo of the ladybug bloom on social media Tuesday.

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Alex Tardy, of NWS, told KGTV meteorologists weren't sure what to make of it when they saw a large echo growing on weather radars without a hint of rain in sight.

Joe Dandrea, a meteorologist with NWS, told the Los Angeles Times he called a spotter in the San Bernadino Mountains to ask what they were seeing.

“The observer there said you could see little specks flying by,” Dandrea said.

He told KNSD the bloom was about 80 miles by 80 miles and spread over 5,000 to 9,000 feet of elevation.

According to the Times, California is home to about 200 species of ladybugs. It was not immediately clear which one caused Tuesday's bloom.

"Ladybugs are known in Central and Southern California to migrate and move in masses, you know, like in hundreds of thousands," Tardy told KGTV.