Sunday, January 18, 2009

Pretty picture: Anthurium flower w/ ladybug

Some years, when fall arrives, the apartment fills up with boxelder bugs (Boisea trivittata), and then in the spring we find little piles of them, dead, in front of all the windows and near the plant lights. Other years, 2008-09 being one of them, it's not so much boxelder bugs as ladybugs, but the story winds up being basically the same. Once it gets cold out, the boxelder bugs pretty well stay put (or they're already dead, or whatever), but the ladybugs wander all over the place for the whole winter. God knows what they're surviving on, food-wise. I'm pretty sure it's not aphids. There was one that I'm pretty sure went on a mouthwash-drinking bender: I kept finding it near, or on top of, a particular drop of spilled mouthwash on the bathroom sink, for the better part of a day, and when blown on moved very slowly and unsteadily in no particular direction. A stumbling-drunk ladybug? Sure looked like it.

Maybe it was unsteady because it had been poisoned by the mouthwash and was dying. Hard to say.

But so anyway. This one I found on the Anthurium flower ('Florida'), and it hung out there for at least several hours. It was hard to get a picture, because whenever I got close with the camera, it would crawl to the other side of the spadix, but eventually I got it. The spathe is a weird glowy orange because it's being lit from the back by a fluorescent light, though it's a very luminous orange even when not backlit.

There are/were other Anthuriums in bloom at the same time ('Pacora,' which is red, was very close), so it's not inconceivable that the ladybug may have visited other plants and accidentally pollinated something for me. It'd be a long shot, but it's not literally impossible. Which would be cool.

1 comment:

Sunita said...

Lovely anthurium. I've never seen this particular hybrid before. I've got a lot of Anth. 'Tropical' though and some more which I've forgotten the names of. I grow mine outdoors though.