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Lady Bug


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tides2dust
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« on: Nov 30, 2016 07:29 am »

https://sydkab.com/2012/01/29/ladybugs/

this is also pretty fun ^
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The ladybug.

Adorable, right? The cheery, apple-red carapace garnished with but a few, large black dots; as if a tiny pixie had painted them on, and the paintbrush tip was just too big to fit more than a few dots on. This, combined with its bumbling walk along the flowers, and its round, squat body evokes imagery of a kindred Russian grandmother, tending her garden in her brightly-colored babushka. If you are fortunate enough to get one to crawl on your hand or finger, its tiny legs tickle your skin and it eventually pops open its carapace (made of modified wings called “elytra”), and silently takes off as an itty-bitty summertime jewel of cuteness and sunshine and sparkles (and it’s supposed to be good luck! awww). Definitely adorable. Right?

Wrong.

Ladybugs (also known as “ladybirds” outside of North America, as well as “ladyclocks”, “lady cows”, and “Xena flys”) are voracious predators in their raised-bed ecosystem. Ladybugs, from the cradle to the grave, feed upon many different types of insects (many of them important crop pests, so yay), but most commonly on things like aphids. Ladybugs are built to seek-and-destroy aphids. Imagine a giant, armored tank, bearing down on you at stupid speeds, and you’re a squishy, slow, small, green thing…and you have an idea of what it’s like to be an aphid caught in the crosshairs of a hungry ladybug. Did I mention the tank’s front is equipped with more razor-sharp blades than an industrial agricultural combine? That cute little ladybug face hides a generous amount of sharp, curved mandibles that are designed by natural selection to pop an aphid’s body like a Screamin’ Green Apple-flavored Fruit Gusher. A single, adult ladybug can consume more than 1000 aphids in one day during the growing season. Seeing as how ladybugs can live up to about two years, that comes to roughly 360,000 aphid lives in the lifetime of a single ladybug, which is more than the metro population of the city I live in, Eugene, Oregon.
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peace ~ <3

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