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This luggage sticker photograpy is of a ladybug beetle on a Forget-Me-Not Flower. Willaim Warby, one of our featured photographers, captured this Forget-Me-Not event in an awsome photograph.
The following is from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia on the Ladybug beetle:
The Coccinellidae are a family of beetles, known variously as ladybirds (UK, Ireland, Australia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand, India and Malta) or ladybugs (originating in North America, spread through media to many other parts of the world). When they need to use a common name, entomologists widely prefer the names ladybird beetles or lady beetles as these insects are not true bugs. Lesser-used names include God's cow, ladyclock, lady cow, and lady fly.
Coccinellids are small insects, ranging from 1 mm to 10 mm (0.04 to 0.4 inches), and are commonly yellow, orange, or scarlet with small black spots on their wing covers, with black legs, head and antennae. Such color patterns vary greatly however; for example, a minority of species, such as Vibidia duodecimguttata, a twelve-spotted species, have whitish spots on a brown background.
In some species the spots are so large that they merge, leaving the remaining bright colours as spots on a black background. Many coccinellid species are mostly, or entirely, black, grey, or brown and may be difficult for non-entomologists to recognise as coccinellids at all. Conversely, non-entomologists might easily mistake many other small beetles for coccinellids. For example the tortoise beetles, like the ladybird beetles, look similar because they are shaped so that they can cling to a flat surface so closely that ants and many other enemies cannot grip them.
Coccinellids are found worldwide, with over 5,000 species described, more than 450 native to North America alone.
The Coccinellidae are generally considered useful insects, because many species feed on aphids or scale insects, which are pests in gardens, agricultural fields, orchards, and similar places. However, some species do have unwelcome effects. Among these the most prominent are the subfamily Epilachninae, which are plant eaters. Usually Epilachninae are only mild agricultural pests, eating the leaves of grain, potatoes, beans and various other crops, but their numbers can increase explosively in years when their natural enemies are few, such as parasitoid wasps that attack their eggs. When that happens they can do major crop damage. They occur in practically all the major crop producing regions of temperate and tropical countries.
Harmonia axyridis (or the harlequin ladybird/bug) is an example of how an animal might be partly welcome and partly harmful. It was introduced into North America from Asia in 1916 to control aphids, but is now the most common species, out-competing many of the native species. It has since spread to much of western Europe, reaching the UK in 2004. It has become something of a domestic and agricultural pest in some regions and gives ecological cause for concern. It similarly has turned up in parts of Africa, where it has proved variously unwelcome, perhaps most prominently in vine-related enterprises.
A common myth, totally unfounded, is that the number of spots on the insect's back indicates its age. In fact the number, shape, and placement of the spots all are determined by the species of the beetle, and are fixed by the time it emerges from its pupa. The same applies to the colour, except that it may take some days for the colour of the adult beetle to mature and stabilise. Generally the mature colour tends to be fuller and darker than the colour of the callow.
The following is from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia on the Forget-Me-Not:
Myosotis ( //; from the Greek: "mouse's ear", after the leaf) is a genus of flowering plants in the family Boraginaceae (or Cynoglossum family) that are commonly called Forget-me-nots. Its common name was calqued from the French, ne m'oubliez pas and first used in English in c. 1532. Similar names and variations are found in many languages.
There are approximately fifty species in the genus, with much variation. Most have small (1 cm diameter or less) flat, 5-lobed blue, pink or white flowers with yellow centers, growing on scorpioid cymes. They bloom in spring. Leaves are alternate. Popular in gardens, Forget-me-nots prefer moist habitats and where they are not native, they have escaped to wetlands and riverbanks. They can tolerate partial sun and shade.
Forget-me-nots may be annual or perennial plants. Their root systems are generally diffuse. Their seeds are found in small, tulip-shaped pods along the stem to the flower. The pods attach to clothing when brushed against and eventually fall off, leaving the small seed within the pod to germinate elsewhere. Seeds can be collected by putting a piece of paper under the stems and shaking them. The seed pods and some seeds will fall out.
They are widely distributed. Many Myosotis species are endemic to New Zealand, though it is likely that the genus originated in the Northern Hemisphere. One or two European species, especially the Wood Forget-me-not, Myosotis sylvatica have been introduced into most of the temperate regions of Europe, Asia and America. Myosotis scorpioides is also known as scorpion grass due to the spiraling curve of its inflorescence. Myosotis alpestris is the state flower of Alaska.
Forget-me-nots are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Setaceous Hebrew Character.
This photo was taken on May 27, 2012 in Broxbourne, England, GB, using an Olympus E-3.