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Ladybug, eco-greencover of Jammu

By Bhushan Parimoo

After intense all out search for Ladybug over a decade as these used to be around us here has to be abandoned. Became it proved a utter futile exercise because of the findings that the number of these Ladybugs has drastically decline to a few and far in-between.

May be noticed when Good Luck as these are called smile on you. As such has to refer as pushed out of sight forever but not out of mind those who knew its presence and importance. Shivaliks of Jammu had these in plenty around till recent past.

With it another specie in the biodiversity has pushed to go with the wind of insensitiveness laced with incapability of the authorisers to preserve and protect. Although it has been under the ambit of protection of both under the J& K State Biodiversity Board and JK Wildlife Protection Act. Both have found to be incapable in holding the trust posed in them by the Nature lovers .

These Ladybugs are known for the an indispensable role for Agriculture, Horticulture, Floriculture and in the local personal gardens as it devours on parasites world over . Why its disappearance has been ignored even by the Universities and others which has proved detrimental to rural economy. NASA even sent a few ladybugs into space with aphids to see how aphids would escape in zero gravity. Ladybugs in Dogri is called Laaldee, due to its red colour have oval, and dome-shaped bodies is the seven-spotted with its shiny, red-and-black body with six short legs.

Elsewhere they also can be yellow, orange, brown, pink or even all black, and their spots — which some ladybugs don’t have at all — can look more like stripes. Depicted wearing a red cloak in early paintings, and the spots of the seven-spot ladybird (the most common in Europe) were said to symbolise her seven joys and seven sorrows .Are cute as a button with their teeny hard, red shells with black spots. Belongs to the Coccinellidae family, order: Coleoptera from a Latin word meaning “scarlet”.

But also have many other names “ladybird” originated in Britain where the insects became known as “Our Lady’s bird” or the Lady beetle. Mary (Our Lady) such as in English, they’ve been called ladybug, ladybird, lady beetle, lady clock, lady cow and lady fly. In Europe, they’re called ladybird beetles. There are about 5,000 different species of ladybugs in the world. People love ladybugs because they are pretty, graceful, and harmless to humans.

So did my better half often made mention of it while fighting a losing battle for life? Had weaning wish to have them around to refresh memories of her childhood days .lamented for nowhere to be seen realising its wiped out almost from the Jammu division. She must have grown up playing with it.

After her untimely demise in October 2008 this writer made single minded resolve for look out for it even asked others to search in memory of my better half. But seem to have disappeared without any trace from the environ in jammu Division it once thrived in abundance everywhere without any exceptions.

Spiritually is believed to be an embodiment of Lady Luck, bringing good fortune and prosperity along with it. As the insect leads a vibrant and colourful life, it influences you to experience the joys of living to the fullest.

Ladybug lovers on spotting it utter in joy Love and Luck —Ladbugs. Considered an embodiment of good luck if one lands on your hand or you see one in your home. As the insect leads a vibrant and colourful life, it influences you to experience the joys of living to the fullest. Technically they are beetles not bugs, have needle-like mouth parts whereas beetles have chewing mouth parts. Bbesides beetles have harder wings than bugs do. Ladbugs are very vital for link in the biodiversity for our survival.

Ladybugs are happy in many different habitats, including grasslands, forests, cities, suburbs, and along rivers. Authorities often communicate yet hardly implement when needs arises that Biodiversity boosts ecosystem productivity where each species, no matter how small, all have an important role to play.

The larger number of plant species means a greater variety of crops. Greater species diversity ensures natural sustainability for all life forms. Even Darwin had proposed that species diversity might increase the productivity of ecosystem due to the division of labour among species, suggesting that each species is unique in how it exploits environment. It thus follows that species-rich system exploit can exploit resources .more efficiently than species-poor system( known as complimentary effect ) .

Diversity is also thought to make ecosystem, species and population more resilient to environmental stress. In Shivalike with the wiping out of the Ladybugs shivaliks must have lost some of its vegetation in wild. One this writer found is Wild Soounchal, in Kashmiri Soouchaal. While in valley it is grown here in Jammu Kandi has been in wild in plenty.

Now no trace of Soounchal. Same may be the case with other wild vegetation needs research. Ladybug has been known for doing its job eating aphids gardeners welcome ladybugs with open arms, knowing they will munch on the most prolific plant pests. Ladybugs love to eat scale insects, whiteflies, mites, and aphids. As larvae, ladybugs eat pests by the hundreds.

A hungry ladybug adult can devour 30 aphids per day, and estimates are that a ladybug can consume as many as 5,000 aphids over its lifetime.

In fact, as soon as ladybugs hatch, they begin to feast. Ladybugs lay eggs — hundreds of them — in aphid colonies, and when they hatch, the larvae immediately start feeding. “Once hatched, the larvae eat about 350 to 400 aphids in the two weeks it takes them to become fully grown,” Apart from they also eat fruit flies, thrips, mites and other plant-damaging insects.

However, different species prefer different foods. While many prey on garden pests, some (like the Mexican bean beetle and the squash beetle) also feed on the plant leaves mentioned in their names, making those particular species unwelcome guests in some gardens. . “During the Middle Ages in Europe, swarms of aphids were destroying crops.

The farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary for help — and help came in the form of ladybugs that devoured the plant-destroying pests and saved the crops.

The grateful farmers named these insects ‘Our Lady’s beetles,’ a name which had endured to present day.” A ladybug’s spots are a warning to attackers’ spots and bright colours are meant to warn would-be attackers that this beetle tastes terrible. “Ladybugs can secrete a fluid from joints in their legs which gives them a foul taste,” Because of this, they aren’t often preyed upon, however several insects, such as assassin bugs, stink bugs and spiders, may eat ladybugs, according to the Lost Ladybug Project. They’ve also been known to play dead, giving them a two-pronged defence system in a world of eat or be eaten.

Winter is the time for a ‘ladybug bacchanalia’ (and hibernation). When the weather turns cold, they look for a warm, secluded place to hibernate, such as in rotting logs, under rocks, or even inside houses. These hibernating colonies can contain thousands of ladybugs. Aphids are more than just a food source, however; they also work as a signal for when it’s time for ladybugs to mate.

When the aphids begin to disappear, ladybugs realize that winter is coming and flock to ancestral homes that they’ve been to before for a once-in-a-lifetime-event of mating right before entering hibernation. After hibernating, the ladybugs may get in some last-minute special time with a mate, but then they head back to their homes.

Question arise without any malice to anyone, the reason and intent to ignore preservation and protection of the biodiversity of the State which has been in constant decline and some extinct other on the verge of extinct. Which is very highly perturbing affair. Man knows how to created deserts from lush green environ but has yet to develop cost effective technique to create green of the desert. One is forced to ponder for whom the bells of the Administration toll. Outsiders as they themselves call should learn from the British who ruled but their contribution to study biodiversity and protect it has been unparalleled in the annals of research in the Subcontinent .

State subjects plead not to inflict further irreparable damage to the biodiversity which is a non-political subject. We need preservation more than biodiversity needs us .Which has not to be dealt with brute force but with natural ways with care, love, dedication and patience. Which is unfortunately conspicuously altogether missing. Situation demands to clean the Augean Stable of stinking dirt, accumulated over the years to deliver the assignment which has been entrusted with by the exchequers who are paying for it through their nose with their hard earned money out of sweat.
(The writer is a Jammu based environmentalist)