The radar footage showed a green mass, spanning more than 60 miles, and moving.
In a Twitter post, the San Diego office of the National Weather Service referred to it as a “cloud” or “bloom” of ladybugs.
And while the Weather Service’s tweet has prompted several news reports about the swarm of ladybugs, one local scientist is skeptical.
James Cornett, senior scientist with James W. Cornett Ecological Consultants, said a swarm of that size and density would have darkened the skies over the region.
“There would have been unbelievable numbers of telephone calls to the police,” Cornett said. “It merits some investigation.”
According to Mark Moede, a Weather Service meteorologist, the agency attributed the radar readings to the insects after a weather spotter in Wrightwood, a town in the San Bernardino mountains, reported a high number of ladybugs in the area.
“Our weather spotter said that this happens often,” Moede said. “He said there were ladybugs everywhere.”