Saturday, October 08, 2016

I was born yellow but soon had spots...

Sometimes I get to witness insect behaviour that just has to be shared on this little blog of mine, and is hopefully interesting and important enough to make a 'stand-alone' entry. "Tell me more JJ"..."I will..."

I had been observing a group of ladybird pupae for quite a while in the hope of catching a newly emerged ladybird. I took a number of photos of the pupae over a few days as they matured. It is so hard to tell exactly when an emergence might take place though. One or two looked about ready to pop and yet, nothing changed for what seemed like forever. Eventually my patience was rewarded. I arrived one day just at the right time to witness a complete eclosion.

Time to let the pictures do the talking...

Click on any photo for a larger view
This first shot was taken at 8:10pm when the light was already failing

Just 5 minutes had passed at this stage

That whole process from start to finish took around 10 minutes. I don't know if that is about average because I have never before seen this in real time, but I would think that even 10 mins is long enough to be in such a vulnerable state. 

50 minutes later it was recognisable as a harlequin ladybird, although the pupa itself is quite distinctive and obviously that of a harlequin...

I was so thrilled to be able to not only witness this unseen behaviour, but also to be able to photograph it and share here on my blog. Some of the photos are maybe not as crisp as I would have wished them to be, but that background you can see is provided courtesy of a leaf that I was holding in one hand, whilst holding my macro gear with the other. 


  1. Many thanks for your visit and comment Earthshine...

  2. Another interesting post. Thanks.

  3. Blogger seems to be acting strange. Its not loading your latest post's own page (only title and a sidebar there if I try). I can read it though on blog main page. but clicking on comment again takes me to post url -which shows blank page. - and even more surprisingly, its behaviour is not same for all posts, as I get this one loading fine.

    1. Many thanks for alerting me to this. I will have to return the post to draft status whilst I sort this out...

  4. Amazing series of shots! Fascinating to see JJ, especially in such detail!
    The Harleys seem to have done a little too well here this year. I can see more than 100 in an hour's walk, yet I see very few of our natives...

    1. Many thanks Maria. Yeah, was worth waiting around to be able to watch and learn. Erm, lots of Harleys here too but I did see good numbers of 7-spot early season and again at this end of the year, there seem to be quite a few about. Lots of other species I would expect to see but no sightings though...


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