Posts Tagged ‘nymph’

Two Immature Insects

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The larval stage of a ladybug definitely doesn’t resemble an adult ladybug.

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The pupal stage more resembles an adult.

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A stinkbug nymph is definitely more ornate

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than the adult green stinkbug.

Immature Ladybug Beetles

  I was weeding in one of my the gardens. 

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I lifted a triangular rock, and there was a ladybug nest.  They hurried into the nearest tunnels. Finding a nest was  first for me.

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Back up here! These were ladybugs, but were too small. I ended up on the Enchanted Learning website. During the nymph stage the ladybugs are gray with a segmented body and legs. These were ladybugs in their pupal stage, which lasts 5-7 days. Near the middle on the left is a cavity with a rolypoly in it. It shows just how small these ladybug pupae were. Then right below the rolypoly is a ladybug pupa that for some reason has a white head and thorax.

There wasn’t a ladybug in sight when I checked the next day.


This Is a First

These pits may not be overly showy or impressive for a photograph. They are interesting, though, in what the nymphs do.

Antlion pits aren’t a first for me; they’re a first for my yard. This shows how dry our summer’s been, when I find them in our front yard under the arborvitae tree. This isn’t their normal habitat.

Antlions are usually found in dry, fine-grained soil that’s protected from rain. This could be places like under rock overhangs and eaves of a house.

I photographed these on a hike. There usually aren’t this many in one place, and this picture doesn’t even show all of them.

 Antlions over winter in larval stage. Then in the spring each creates a pit in sand or loose dirt, some up to an inch in diameter. The nymph remains under the bottom of the pit. Any insect, like these small black ants, fall/slide into the pit. The loose dirt prevents the them from climbing out. The nymph grabs its prey from below.

There was a teeny caterpillarin this pit. I orginally found 11 pits under the arborvitae. A storm reduced the number to 5.

I usually don’t disturb anything holding my interest. I did use a spoon, though, and scooped out what I thought would be deep enough. I didn’t find anything and then felt guilty. Pictures show the nymph with 6 short legs, a segmented body and pinchers on its head. The adult resembles a damselfly. Damselflies hold their wings closed over their back, and antlions hold theirs outward. Antlions also have 1/4-inch antennae, which damselflies lack.

Wondering About Cicadas

I have finally started hearing cicadas. Until now, I’d only heard one every now and then. I began to worry about them with the drought we’re having (14 inches behind), and if the nymphs could even dig out with the ground so hard.

The pictures I’m including here were taken last summer when we had an impressive population of the 13-year cicadas (also called periodical cicadas). Half-inch holes were common too from where the nymphs tunneled out.

 They then climbed up nearby plants, split their skin and emerged.

Shed skins were everywhere.

Periodical cicadas have a black body and red eyes. Annual cicadas, also called dog-day cicadas, are brown, green and white.

The triangle of hackberry, pine and sweet gum trees that surround my spring wildflower garden was where the most emergence occured. They were everywhere! On every plant and in several other areas around the yard too.

There was a whole lot of mating going on.

Periodical cicadas emerge in May through June in Illinois; the dog-day ones emerge July through August. After mating, the female makes a slit in a pencil-size twig and lays her eggs. The eggs hatch 6-10 weeks later.  The tiny cicadas returns to the underground tunnels. Here they feed on roots as they mature until the next mass emergence. In the case of the ones in the pictures that emerged in 2011, they won’t emerge until 2024. So basically, we see only a snippet of their long life.