Welcome to BUG CAMP!

It’s officially camp season for MBHI and many other organizations around town, and while I don’t spend my whole summer as a camp educator, I get the opportunity every so often.

But just because I’m busy with camp this week, doesn’t mean I’ve been neglecting my bug observations (it is bug camp, after all). So enjoy this short dispatch from camp, and be sure to join us next week for your regularly scheduled Notes from the Lab.

An intrepid young camper shows off her new bug wrangling skills. Several young campers were thrilled to find this ladybug.

Campers were excited (and shocked) to learn that this strange-looking insect (photo by Ivan Radicis also a ladybug! Ladybugs (otherwise known as ladybirds or lady beetles) belong to a family of beetles (Coccinellidae) and therefore undergo complete metamorphosis. This means they will experience egg, larval, pupal and adult stages. Butterflies, moths, bees, ants and wasps all have similar life cycles. 

This shield bug was found crawling across a camper’s shoe. Shield bugs are true bugs, meaning they have piercing and sucking mouthparts (some for sucking out plant juices, some for preying on other bugs). Shield bugs have somewhat of a… foul reputation. Their other common family name – stink bugs – is the result of their unique defensive strategy. Luckily, this one didn’t cause a stink.

Until next time, thanks for joining us at bug camp!

Bug Wrangler Brenna

Want to revisit a previous Notes from the Lab issue? Check out our archive! Do you want to request a subject for an upcoming issue? Email me at the address above and put “Notes from the Lab” in the subject line.