Nature's Place

‘Shield’ Bug

When I first approached this bug I could see it was sitting on eggs and I didn’t want to frighten it off. So I tested its response to my presence by bringing my finger towards it from above and moving it from side to side. It responded by moving with my finger so the eggs were shielded from the direction of my finger. I thought, maybe that’s why they are called shield bugs, they shield their eggs from predation – so it seems.

I noticed she had her proboscis down on the eggs and thought she would be checking the condition of the eggs, not unlike any mum would feel her prospective young. I went back from time to time over the next week but there was no change so I didn’t try for more shots, only the side angles available without risking serious disturbance, and I wanted to see the young when they hatched.

Then, ten days after the first shot, through downpour after downpour – when it rains here it pours, I saw something had changed, there were fewer eggs. So I had a closer look and she was eating them, the eggs.

She hadn’t moved in all the time I had observed and she must have been starving, she was that unsteady on her feet. Maybe the eggs proved nonviable, some of the eggs look off in #4 and none of them looked like anything was developing inside as could be expected, and she was just doing what came natural, living to breed another day.

Today the only sign anything happened on the spot was the minimal debris where the eggs had been attached to the leaf.
The natural creatures are naturally conservationist. You can’t judge the God made.

Waste not, want not.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge

20 Responses

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  1. fabristol said, on 14/11/2010 at 1:47 am

    These photos are truly amazing. Congratulations!
    I know that everybody ask you the same question but, can I ask which lenses did use for these shots? And, did you use a flash or a portable lamp to illuminate the subject?
    thank you very much

    Fabristol

    p.s.
    have you ever thought to publish a book of the best photos you took? Maybe you can sell it on this blog :)

  2. anipics said, on 07/11/2010 at 6:55 am

    it´s beautiful!

  3. arvind said, on 06/11/2010 at 3:24 am

    as usual amazing clarity and detail

  4. roseroars said, on 04/11/2010 at 8:02 am

    Poor mommy bug… better luck next time.

  5. Mark said, on 03/11/2010 at 10:56 pm

    Thanks Cindy and Samuel.

  6. Samuel Sharpe said, on 03/11/2010 at 9:04 pm

    Agree with everyone else, ugly but your shots are amazing. I am always astonished at how much depth-of-field you get, I can go up to f/32+ and still very small depth but anything higher and I run out of light.

    I also spotted these guys a few time and they were all hanging upside down under the leaf, I guess to protect from the elements. Was this one upside down? They do hang around for a very long time.

    Excellent work Mark.

    • Mark said, on 10/11/2010 at 12:19 am

      Thanks Samuel. No, this one was on top of leaf. They are also known as Parent bug, for obvious reason.

  7. cindydyer said, on 03/11/2010 at 6:37 pm

    Bah!—-no such thing as an ugly bug!

    Stunning, stunning, stunning! Your work prompted me to buy both Raynox macroscopic lenses, Mark. Keep up the beautiful, stunning work, please. I just posted my “Baker’s Dozen Link Loves” and you’re in that list. Hope you get some traffic to your amazing work!

  8. Mark said, on 03/11/2010 at 6:02 pm

    Thanks all.

    Ugly? Only in the mind. ((:

  9. Paige said, on 03/11/2010 at 5:38 pm

    amazing!

  10. honigE said, on 03/11/2010 at 5:37 pm

    omg! this animals are a little bit ugly, but this quality!!! nice details!
    good job!

  11. jamyun said, on 03/11/2010 at 4:38 pm

    i like it


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