MY FAVOURITE CARTOON AS A BOY..

Sunday, June 24, 2007

14-SPOT LADYBIRD LARVAL FORM

Here's another hunting machine.

The Ladybird has a, how can I put it, sweet, cuddly reputation - all "Alice in Wonderland", fairytale sort of stuff.

Nothing could be further from the truth...

Before a Ladybird becomes the colourful adult beetle we know (and love?), it goes through its larval stage, when it runs around plants, very quickly at that, snatching aphids and sucking 'em dry.

This of course is not rare in insects, the well-known Dragonfly larva which exists underwater a lot longer than its 'flighty' aerial adult form is an absolute MONSTER for example - a real alien to beat any sci-fi dross.

Both adults and larval Ladybirds do not find their prey using their eyesight, nor any reception of chemical trails or anything like that, they just blindly (almost literally) follow plant veins and stalks, and pretty-well just bump into an aphid. Then its coytuns for their prey...

We found these Ladybird larvae in the garden yesterday (as in the changed time and date of this post), tucking into the local greenfly population...


Just to show you how small this larva is - that is the extreme tip of my insect finger behind the larva (bad quality photo, but as I say, its just to highlight scale).
NB. 28/06/07, after looking on the excellent WAB site (linked on top of page), at photos of Ladybird larvae, I have come to the conclusion that these larvae are 14-Spot Ladybird larvae, (the small, yellow, square 'spots' Ladybird - see my other post for photos of the adult beetle) and altered the title of this post accordingly...

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