Hermiod the Ladybug

November 1, 2007 at 11:01 pm (Life Observations, Personal, The Silly Zone)

On Tuesday I temporarily acquired a pet ladybug. When I saw one climbing up the filing cabinet next to my desk, I promptly turned a small, clear, plastic storage device into a ladybug home complete with air holes, and captured it.

My new ladybug friend lived on the top of my filing cabinet for a day and a half before I released him back into the wild (if the bushes outside our apartment by the parking lot can be called the wild). In that time, I made several observations:

1) As soon as I captured him, he immediately made a small mess inside the container. I initially thought it was, ah, ladybug excrement, but after some research online I discovered that when scared or threatened, ladybugs release a small amount of smelly liquid from their legs to deter predators. After finding that out, I felt rather sorry for my poor, frightened ladybug.

2) Ladybugs appear to “wash” their faces and even shells with their legs. I say this only because as I was observing the ladybug at several points, I noticed that he was moving his front legs in a manner that looked like a cat giving itself a bath. He also rubbed his back legs together. Now, I didn’t research this particular activity, so for all I know he was itching himself or making some ladybug noise outside of my range of hearing. Nevertheless, it was a rather endearing activity.

3) At one point, the ladybug attempted to squeeze itself out of one of the air holes I made. Since I’m a smart person, I didn’t make the air holes large enough for the ladybug to fit through. That didn’t stop him from trying however, and he managed his tiny head and two front legs before giving up and retreating back into his temporary prison.

4) On advice from a website on keeping ladybugs as temporary pets, I dribbled some water down one of the air holes so my friend had something to drink. 10 minutes later, I found him at the side of the little pool. Drinking, perhaps? The water was all gone within hours, whether to the ladybugs stomach or evaporation, I guess I’ll never know.

5) I read that ladybugs play dead when they are threatened, and once I came in to the room to find him indeed looking quite dead: unmoving even at a tap on the container, and his legs carefully hidden under his shell like a turtle so that he rested flush on the ground. Not fooled, I turned the container upside down, and instantaneously two little legs shot out from under the shell to grasp hold tighter. He, however, remained firmly attached to what was now his ceiling. Dead? I don’t think so.

Upon completion of my ladybug observation, I bequeathed the name Hermiod (after an Asgard from Stargate: Atlantis) on the tiny creature, and put him back outside with a sad farewell. Never had I realized how many details the life of such a small, insignificant creature could offer if one could only be prevailed upon to take the time to stop and watch for a day, or two.

Goodbye, my ladybug friend. May the rest of your days be free from predators and full of aphids to eat!

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1 Comment

  1. wezlo said,

    And may the Asgard RIP….

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