The Lady Beetle Observations And Studies
Examine about fruit trees, shade trees, truck crops and in wheat fields for the brightly marked beetles. Watch them move about the plant in search of food. Can they fly? Do you find them eating the leaves? Do you find any green lice near them? See if they feed on these lice. Examine also for the soft bodied, tiger-like grubs. Do they eat the lice? Do they travel fast? Have they wings? See if you can find any of the pupae attached to limbs or twigs and if so, tickle them with a straw or a pencil and see them "bow." Keep a record of the different trees and plants on which you find lady-beetles.
Collect several of the beetles and the grubs and keep them in a bottle or jelly glass. Leave them without food for a day and then give them some green plant-lice and watch them devour the lice. How many lice can one eat in a day? How do they go about devouring a louse? Do they simply suck out the blood, or is the louse completely devoured? Supposing that for each apple tree in Missouri there are one hundred lady-beetles and that each beetle devours fifteen lice in a day, does it not seem worth while protecting them and encouraging such work? A little time spent in acquainting one's self with the good work of such forms as these will help greatly in the fight on our insect foes. Make drawings of and describe briefly the different stages of the lady-beetles.
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