by Srishti Batra – During the field experiments, I observed a lot of interactions in nature. I was looking for herbivores in the field, but what I found was even more interesting. I noticed that plants were infested with aphids, which are small (lice –like) plant sap sucking creatures. There were ladybug larvae which were helping the plant against these tiny monsters by eating them.
These relationships are examples of parasitism and mutualism. Aphids are parasites on plants, sucking their sap and killing them. Ladybugs and plants are a mutual relationship, where the plant is providing food and shelter and in return the ladybug larvae are protecting plants against aphids.
I brought back two creatures to the lab and what we saw in the lab was truly amazing. We saw aphids giving birth to young ones and we could also film the ladybug larvae sucking life out of aphids. Please check out these videos!