Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Gastronomic Adventures of Ladybugs

Ladybugs are cute little critters. I counted eleven spots on this black-spotted on red ladybug. 

It moved clumsily down this leaf blade of Costus Woodsonii. 
With jet-black round eyes placed low down, they seem to be peering over low-rimmed bifocals.

Its stiff feelers are placed horizontally, looking like the top rim of granny spectacles.
 
It seemed to be sniffing the path as it moved along.

As I continued to observe it I realized that it was on a gastronomic trail which was arduous and torturous; up and down from foliage ...
to stem and finally towards...
a large colony of aphids. This should make a good larder adequate for many rainy days.
What a serendipitous discovery. It is like Solomon's mine of epicurean delights. Such good fortune is truly a blessing from Mother Nature. 

In fact by the next day, most of the resident aphids were ravished by this little fella. It saved me the dirty job of being the Terminator.

Costus woodsonii spikes (Dwarf cones ginger) can last for months. They are borne on the tips of canes.
Some cones are taller
whilst others are shorter. The real flowers are the yellow protuberances that sprout sporadically from the bracts.
The bracts open up when the seed pods ripen.
The dehiscence of seed pods release the shiny black seeds which are most probably dispersed by birds. Costus is easily propagated from stem cuttings thus negating the collection of seeds.
This non-spotted lady bug glided down this blade of variegated Dracaena leaf.
It stopped in its track when it came across this hapless teeny weeny bug, in anticipation of a delicious snack.
 
After this light snack, it then cast around to look for more grub and having found none,
continued merrily along its way in search of other scrumptious meals.

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