An English In Kentucky


















Saturday June 24th 2017Tim Candler9


    From tiny yellow eggs the young of Ladybirds emerge and as they find food they look increasingly bad tempered and crotchety. There's no other description for them. I have read that some have described this larval phase in the Ladybird as "alligator like." I don't see it myself, but they do have these little sometimes reddish spikes on a black segmented body with lots of legs and they do have a certain predatory aspect to their appearance that suggest a creature that enjoys hunting down live food or anything that looks as though it could be alive. Nor is there the remotest similarity of appearance between the adult Ladybird and the larva. The larva look like pests of the very worst kind, the sort of creature that inspire horror movies. The adult on the other hand looks charming, diligent and well behaved.



       Then the larval Ladybird suddenly decides to turn into a sort of orangey yellow glob or pupa that can sometimes be seen under leaves. From this pupa the Ladybird emerges. He or she is yellow, the carapace is soft but quickly hardens, turns red with the traditional black spots. Currently in the vegetable garden there are many, many Ladybirds enduring their crotchety phase. Round here of course most adult Ladybirds find their way into and spend their winter in the room where I sleep. This can sometimes be a little awkward because in their wintering phase some of the more restless in their number can get all worked up around an electric light bulb. However I will make the claim that wintering with Ladybirds is infinitely preferable to wintering with Stinkbug.


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