Apr 29, 2009

Pupating in Peace

Neil took these photos in Davis, CA. It might not be readily apparent to you, but these are some of your favorite bugs. They've been featured in countless children's movies and books, they're on hallmark cards, and they're one of the many symbols of Spring.

You're looking at ladybug larvae. More specifically, you're looking at Asian ladybird larvae (Harmonia axyridis). These insects were introduced to North America decades ago for pest abatement, and now they're nigh on ubiquitous. But they don't just dine on aphids, though we appreciate that. These insects also dine on other ladybird beetles, including their own species, as seen in these graphic photos, where Harmonia larvae are feasting on Harmonia pupa. Can't a ladybird pupate in peace?

That's right. Ladybugs are cannibals. That's like finding out that Care Bears and Ewoks and unicorns are cannibals. I just sucked some of the sunshine out of your day, didn't I? Sorry about that. I'm sure Neil apologizes, too. Thanks, Neil.


Neil said...

While not cannibals, unicorns do have an unsettling taste for dolphin meat. You don't want to know what ewoks and care bears eat.

Raging Wombat said...

I don't know if I can live in a world where unicorns eat dolphins, especially en masse and in an idyllic mountain meadow like that. Going from dark to darker.

Anonymous said...

They also bite people. I don't know if they were explicitly trying to eat me, but they certainly didn't hesitate in chomping down on me. It hurt, too.

blog seo tips said...

very beautiful pics