Thursday, May 6, 2010

A True Bug's Life

“All bugs are insects, but not all insects are bugs…”

I have proof that learning can be fun! Recently, I took photos of what I thought were beetles; though I never really cared what they were until after I was reviewing my shots. Since I have never seen such beetles before, I searched them on the internet. And after an hour of searching, I came up blank. Just as I was getting bored, I saw an article about True Bugs (Hemiptera). Then, I got to identify the creatures I shot; and learned about them in the process.

The blue metallic bug that I thought was a species of metallic beetle turned out to be a Metallic Shield Bug. And the sleek red bug was a Cotton Stainer. I learned about what these insects eat and where/how to find them. Also, I learned how to differentiate them from beetles. Beetles have strong chewing mouth parts (mandibles) while true bugs have tube like mouth parts (proboscis). And based on experience, I know that when you hold these bugs, they produce some foul smelling secretion that doesn’t wash away easily.

I wish to learn more; and have fun while I am at it. Perhaps schools should also adopt a similar path to learning. I hope that kids these days would care to learn about nature as much as I do.

Metallic Shield Bug

Cotton Stainer

Afternoon Delight

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