A Little Larva

When I wrote about the lady beetle colony in the maple tree outside, I managed to get some great pictures of newly hatched larvae, plenty of pupae, and the beetles themselves. That would be almost the whole life cycle--except my picture of eggs had no actual eggs in it, and the pictures of large larvae were sort of fuzzy. So, when I found these guys, side by side, I figured I should post them:

A larva (Adalia bipuncta, after the 3rd molt, I suspect) and a cluster of eggs (which I'm not as certain about... they are much rounder than typical coccinellidae eggs, which have sort of an ovate spindle shape... I guess we'll wait and see what hatches):


These two pupae look different, because one is further along in the pupal stage than the other. I watched the one on the right settle in as a large larva, and transformed right alongside the other. The one on the left has hatched already:


The tree full of insects has attracted small predators, including a family of Black-Capped Chickadees. I've watched them pick the beetles and larvae right off the tree and gulp them down. Yum. I'm still trying to catch it on film. For now, I'm content to take their picture when they come to drink from the pond, and pose nicely on the fence:


I do have one question about these little birds... how did they get to pick their own family name? I've been hearing them announce their presence for a few weeks now... "chicka-dee-dee-dee-dee, chicka-dee-dee-dee-dee." Why don't we call ravens "caws" or meadowlarks "si-so-si-so-diddly-do"? All right, I think I just answered my own question.

All photos taken by the author.

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I often refer to animals by the sounds they make. Cows are moo (look at that herd of moos!), pigs are oink (look at that herd of oinks!), chickens are cluck (look at that herd, er flock of clucks!).

It tends to get confusing with seafood though. They all end up as "glub".

Thanks for the comment Steve. I actually wrote in a comment here a few weeks ago asking what was happening with this blog after the announcement that O'Reilly was dropping the Digital Media division. It's really refreshing to get an honest comment on what's happening. I really hope the blog picks up again.

I've started a climate change project called proxEarth.org. Many people have blogs, websites, and use social software sites (social networking, social bookmarking, photo and video sharing, etc.). Some standards for tags and text on blogs, websites, and social software sites could turn the whole global Internet into a kind of Web 2.0 participation platform for climate change. Iâm suggesting a few simple standards for tags and text that leverage processes of the sustainable ProxThink growth model. To get this going, we need people to adopt and use these standards. The project could also use contributors, collaborators, partners, funders and sponsors. To find out more, see: