It was during one of my routine visits to Kabini that I casually walked up to a clump of golden bamboo and examined it. I was secretly hoping to be surprised. Little did I expect to be treated to an almost whole life-cycle of a pretty Ladybird beetle – Synonycha sp. (family Coccinellidae).
I was excited when an adult ladybird beetle still sitting on the spent pupa caught my attention. I photographed this before the beetle moved off to explore its surroundings. Before long, I noticed a young grub (beetle larva) moving about on the bamboo, followed by a fully grown grub, a grub about to pupate, a fully formed pupa, and an adult becoming the meal of a spider! One after the other, I photographed all these. The only thing I could not find were the eggs of this pretty beetle.
Now let me allow the pictures to speak for themselves. For purposes of better understanding, the pictures are arranged suitably to convey the life-cycle. This entire series of pictures was shot within a span of about half hour, all on the same bamboo clump!
A young grub
A fully grown grub
Grub ready to pupate
Adult sitting on the spent pupa after emerging
Adult Ladybird beetle Synonycha grandis
The spent pupal skin
A comb-footed spider feeding on the adult beetle
These photos just prove that there is plenty to see, learn and enjoy while at Kabini, even if you chose not to go on a safari!