23 pages of color filled ladybug photos with inspiring quotes.
This is a beautiful gift for the nature lover.
Where did the name 'ladybug' come from?
In Europe, during the Middle Ages, insects were destroying the crops, so the Catholic farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary for help. Soon the Ladybugs came, ate the plant-destroying pests and saved the crops! The farmers began calling the ladybugs "The Beetles of Our Lady", and they eventually became known as "Lady Beetles"! The red wings represented the Virgin's cloak and the black spots represented her joys and sorrows. They didn't differentiate between males and females. source: http://www.ladybuglady.com
It's amazing to get up close to the insect world and see them react and interact with me. They aren't oblivious to humans at all, in fact, they are usually very aware; I know they are of me. They notice sounds and movement, and some are aware of scent. I find that I use the same knowledge and techniques in photographing them, as I do for animals. I get them used to me through time and patience. Sometimes they fly away, but as with the ladybugs, I watch where they land and I retrieve them. They eventually learn to trust me. After this trust is built, I'm able to photograph for longer periods. When I can, I photograph in their natural place, but if I've moved them, I'm careful to return them to their branch or tree or wherever they originated.
The more I discover and learn about all forms of life, the more connected I feel to the world, and the more precious I view all life. There's so much wonder in the world when we make time to explore and notice.
As I tromp across grass and through the weeds, I'm aware I'm entering the world where so many insects make their home and are carrying on their business of living. It's made me more conscious of how everything is interrelated. I tread more lightly now; more mindfully.
Ladybugs are uniquely capable of protecting themselves ...
Nature's warning system of colors - red and orange - works well to tell predators that their choice of an insect meal might not be so yummy. Ladybugs are also able to release a substance that gives off a very foul odor and aids in keeping them from being a meal. Colors can also warn of danger such as letting a predator know when something is poisonous and work as camouflage when an insect might otherwise not be able defend him/herself.
Playing dead is a defense mechanism used by ladybugs. From http://www.ladybuglady.com: "By pulling their legs up "turtle-style", and typically release a small amount of blood from their legs. (This is called reflex bleeding.) The bad smell and the apparent look of death usually deter predators from their small ladybug snack. After the threat of danger has passed, the ladybug will resume its normal activities."
What do the spots tell you about a ladybug?
Spots will not determine the age of a ladybug. Different ladybugs have different numbers of spots. Some have no spots while some have as many as twenty four. Ladybugs generally complete their life cycle within one year. The spots are with them all their life. They don't get more spots as they get older, nor do they lose spots, although they tend to fade with age.
An entomologist can use the spots as a guide in determining what kind of ladybug it is, but it is not the only piece of information gathered. For an average person the spots can greatly help, but the shape and coloration are going to be just as important. Some different types of ladybugs may have the same number of spots. source: http://www.ladybuglady.com
Are there different kinds of ladybugs?
Yes. There are hundreds of different kinds all over the world. There are about 500 different kinds in the United States and nearly 5000 world wide. They come in all different colors, too. Reds, yellows, orange, gray, black, brown and even pink. source: http://www.ladybuglady.com
Mating can take a couple of hours or longer.
Can two different species mate to produce a new species?
Ladybugs are typically "species specific". That means that they can only reproduce successfully with members of their same species. The male and female reproduction parts are termed "lock and key" which means that the male's aedeagus (insect penis) will only "fit" with the female of his same species. New species evolves over time through a process called evolution. It can also occur more rapidly through genetic mutations that have continued to appear in successive generations. source: http://www.ladybuglady.com
Ladybugs, or as they are called in Europe, Ladybird beetles, have a 2 to 3 year lifespan, and spend most of their day consuming aphids. Aphids are tiny bugs that feed on sap from plants. Aphids come in many colors. Some may be green, yellow, brown, red or black depending on the species and the plants upon which they feed.
"Their distinctive spots and attractive colors are meant to make them unappealing to predators. Ladybugs can secrete a fluid from joints in their legs which gives them a foul taste. Their coloring is likely a reminder to any animals that have tried to eat their kind before: "I taste awful." A threatened ladybug may both play dead and secrete the unappetizing substance to protect itself." source: National Geographic
"In the spring, the female ladybug lays her tiny, pale yellow eggs in clusters of ten to 50 on the underside of plant leaves, near colonies of aphids. Three to five days later the larvae hatch. They look much like miniature alligators, usually gray or black, with bright spots.
After hatching, the larva immediately start killing and eating aphids. A single ladybug consumes about 5,000 aphids in his or her lifetime: 400 aphids are consumed, just in the larva stage. Two to three weeks later, the larva pupates on a leaf, and transforms to an adult. Then as an adult, consumes another 4600 aphids in their lifetime."
FROM May 31st ON JASPER'S BLOG:
I've written about my passion for photography before. It's an amazing experience to love how you spend your time. When I study life from behind my camera lens, I get transported into a new, and incredibly fascinating world. I start to see the blades of grass and leaves differently; more from the view of my main character, whomever that happens to be on a given day. Yesterday, my star characters were several ladybugs.
Doing macro photography is probably similar to exploring life beneath a microscope, only it doesn't go nearly as deep as that. Nonetheless, it's an extraordinary world to observe, and from the time I'm focusing my lens until I leave, I feel a part of something special. I get to experience a part of life often revealed only in books or documentaries.
Photography has many highs. There's the high of being in the field, out there camera hunting ready to capture an unexpected moment in time for eternity. Then there's the rush of focusing just so and clicking away. Following the character from one scene to the next is mesmerizing. Then there's the ride home with the camera full of potential glory. It's a rush every single time. I get home, greet my kitty, and head straight for my computer where I begin the next rush: downloading the images.
And finally, there's the sweet of all sweets when I get to see hundreds of moments in time captured by the marvel of a camera, and when the timing is perfect along with the lighting and focus and angle, I get the best rush of all - a photograph to cherish and share. I have so much yet to learn and that fuels my drive even more. I wouldn't sell my passion for a million dollars -- for any amount of money. For a 'starving artist', I'm happy getting to do what I do. This kind of passion is priceless.
My LADYBUG photo book is now available for sale! This makes a stunning gift book or the perfect coffee table book that adds color and beauty to any setting. Full of inspiring quotes.
One square mile of land contains more insects than the total number of human beings on earth!
The Earth has a surface area of 196,939,900 square miles.
It's estimated that there are more than 200 million insects for each human on the planet!
A recent New York Times article claimed that the world holds 300 pounds of insects for every pound of humans.
There are some 900 thousand different kinds of living insects known in the world. The true number of insect species can only be estimated from present and past studies. Anywhere from 1 million to 10 million insects may still be unidentified as yet, according to scientists.
About insects ...
"These small, six-legged creatures include bees, ants, flies, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, crickets, butterflies, cockroaches, termites, fleas, and beetles. Although some insects annoy us by spreading disease, damaging crops and household items, and biting people and pets, these represent only about 17% of all the 800,000 species.
The rest of the insects serve a very valuable purpose in nature. These serve as food for birds, frogs, fish, and other animals; pollinate crops; destroy other harmful insects; give us honey, bees wax, shellac, and silk; and keep the land clean by feeding on dead animals and plants."
Source of the above: http://www.bigsiteofamazingfacts.com