For the love of beetles and bugs..

by Sriraksha Bhagavan – As I walk through the fields, gardens and sometimes by the roadsides, among the kind of insects I see, beetles and bugs are the ones that fascinate me the most. These creatures look as though they have been painted by some master artist who was in love with the kaleidoscope, the streaks and marks on their back are so intricately designed and look like a kaleidoscope pattern (especially when you see several species of long horn beetles and jewel bugs).

Majority of the bugs and beetles are pests (even the one I work with), many of them are known to have very long synchronous life cycles and emerge in large numbers at a particular period. Some of them bore into wood (the majority of the long horn beetles), suck the sap of leaves (some of the bugs and weevils), and eventually destroy the plants and trees. But, there are several bugs and beetles that are beneficial like the lady bugs (actually a beetle) that feeds on aphids, and also the mesmerizing fireflies whose synchronous flashing makes our jaw drop.

Admiring their diversity and beauty, these little fellows remind me of a quote by the legendary biologist J.B.S. Haldane “The Creator Has an Inordinate Fondness for Beetles”.

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