Ladybeetles Laying Eggs & Ladybug larve.
I thought these could go on the Bug Love & Carnage page… or on your ladybird page… I live in Boise, ID, and my neighbors had a frenzy of ladybug activity on an aphid infested plum tree. Too cheap to buy ladybugs for my own yard’s pests, and not wanting to use poison, I captured about 15 ladybugs and kept them captive in a large glass vase. I fed them aphid covered leaves from my garden, and the ladybugs kept mating and mating, laying eggs and more eggs, which hatched into hungry little larve which went outside on the plants when they got big enough.
It was fascinating to watch and to nurture these bugs, and photograph with my new camera that does Super Macro shots. Here’s where I’ve got some more of these shots stored. http://picasaweb.google.com/EmilyTheChef/BugsMay2007 Carnage… tiny ladybug larve sucking the life out of of a juicy aphid. Most of the larve were all black, with tiny specs of red, but a few of them were “blonde”, like the bottom larve in this picture. They’re on my finger. I have to put the object directly in front of the lens, practically touching it, for it to be in focus. This next one is so cool… varying stages of ladybugs hatching. · Some still yellow goo (may not have ever hatched- I don’t remember this particular set of eggs, I had probably about 20+ sets)… I read that the larve will eat the un-hatched eggs to sustain themselves until they’re big enough to eat bugs. Some still encased in the egg (I knew the egg bunches would hatch soon because they turned from yellow to white) and Some actually popping out of the egg. I couldn’t even see all the detail with my eyes, but the Super Macro sees very close up! They’re so tiny when they’re hatched… they look like a speck of ladybug poop, until they start to move. And where it all started (well, it really starts with bug love), a Ladybeetle laying eggs. I felt kind of weird watching their intimate moments, but it was amazing! Most of the time, theyd lay in nice neat rows & bunches, sometimes it was willy nilly. Next year I’ll get some photos of the pregnant bugs. You can totally tell which ones are about to lay eggs, because can practically see the yellow eggs through a thin membrane, and their shell looks like it doesn’t fit when they’re about to lay their eggs…
Just for clarification, our Carnage page is reserved for insects who are killed unnecessarily by humans. Your Aphid eating Larvae belong on our Food Chain page. Bug Love is for mating only, and egg laying would go to our Eggs page. Your images are positively fabulous and the body of your letter should be a lesson in organic gardening. Thanks for your wonderful contributions.