Saturday, November 19, 2016

# 3 Orange Blister Beetle

Sometimes i think curiosity is an important key to learning. Learn quick and in a thrilling, adrenalin pumping way. Books are great learning tools but what good can a book do if one is not curious enough to know. But of course that's only sometimes because too much curiosity can be fatal too. Thank Heavens that i was not that fatal kind of curious with this one although i must say i indeed was one thirsting for knowledge of the hurried kind to know as fast as i could. Learning did happen by leaps and bounds asap. Now a good word for what it is worth has earned a well deserved attention and i feel like sharing APOSEMATISM.

Of course i was not even pronouncing it correctly as my tongue was reading the word like a just initiated into reading kid saying A- Pose- Matism stressing on the Pose part. A pose matism i mumbled twice thrice or maybe even more. Probably an instinct to hang on to the word lest it should evaporate from my system. Don't remember hearing the word on Nat Geo or any other Wild life Channels or even if the word was duly repeated during narration i might not have picked it up. Being more engrossed in seeing the visuals than listening carefully to all that the playback voice really was wanting its viewers to also know. 

The sequence that happened because of my as curious as a cat self is as follows. Orange Blister Beetle- Aposematism- How to pronounce Aposematism- Thank Heavens for the premonition - Feeling elated -Happily satiated like a cat that has just polished off a jar of cream- the cat feels like telling one and all about it.

 First the brilliantly striped insect appears on the flower (Yellow Alder) and i can't stop looking at those colors and feeling vaguely thrilled as well as intrigued at the size of the insect's head, thorax and abdomen. It was as large as a big black bumble bee. Some  premonition kind of a feeling too about giving it a due respect and leaving it alone lurked inside .  
 Although i tried staying away i could not help in my curiosity to keep coming back to see and hear. Sounds if there was any or how it moved. Only to see to my horror that it was munching away to God's glory my beautiful bright yellow Alder. Moving quickly from one petal to the other voraciously devouring like a starved beast. It's brilliantly striped shield like abdomen slightly parted and it's phalanxes appearing and disappearing. i assumed that the abdomen was also the wing and maybe the insect could fly like the bumble bee. i however could not get the opportunity to know if it made any buzzing sound like the bumble bee. Some instinct cautioned that i leave the creature to it's meal but it was curiosity that saw me sitting on my laptop few minutes later frantically searching the ID of the insect eating my flower. 
Knowledge is good but it also brings fear. But even when you don't know anything nature provides warning signals. My premonition was justified when i learnt of the beetle. Good that i did not move too close for it to feel threatened although i must say i wanted to take more pictures. Closer shots and perhaps chase the beetle to where there was enough light to capture all it's features.
It sure was an interesting subject for practice practice till you get perfect.

The term aposematism was coined by the English zoologist Edward Bagnall Poulton in his 1890 book The Colours of Animals. He based the term on the Ancient Greek words ἀπό apo away, ση̑μα sēma sign, referring to signs that warn other animals away.

This Orange Blister Beetle because of what nature has bestowed them with has earned a bad name for itself i learnt. i believe some call it Besharam (Shameless) and those speaking Hindi call it Behaya meaning just the same (one who has no shame). i am glad the scientific name cannot be translated. For in entomology it has a name sounding as unique, elaborate and perhaps partly descriptive too as all the other species that co exist along with us. Mylabris pustulata.  
The various internet sites might call it a pest for anything that preys upon what humans need for survival is a pest but i feel otherwise too. They are what they are because nature intended them to be that way. And looking from their perspective even we the Homo sapiens are a pest. Rather of late i feel we are the biggest pests existing in nature now. For with our sheer number and increasing demands we are devouring, plundering, destroying everything that is coming in our way. We intrude upon habitats making way for our own settlements destroying farms, fields, forests and when hunger/loss of habitat brings creatures back into our yards we raise a hue and cry. 
For this time i have decided to learn the word, how to pronounce it correctly and let things be, Thanks to the brilliant color and size i would not know Aposematism.  i know now (also thanks to my curiosity) that not unless they are threatened or crushed no Orange Blister Beetle or Mylabris pustulata will look for me only to attack me and give me blisters or welts that turn septic if not treated. i don't own horses either which might face extermination due to this beetle. And although i was horrified at first to see it eating the flower my garden still has plenty of Turnera ulimifolia or Yellow Alders or Yellow Buttercups or Sage Rose or Cuban Buttercups.  
However knowledge is helpful so i would like readers to be warned too. Hence
And it would not be fair before giving all (who didn't know the word) a chance to learn to pronounce it. 


  1. Well, the curiosity depends on our interest on the subject. If we are interested, our mind keep revolving around that and we can't restrict our curiosity. I notice that our interest and curiosity keep changing as we get old.

    Yeah, as I write this comment, learning to pronounce A- Pose- Matism :)

  2. Thank you Jeno for stopping by and contributing. Agree to what you just said.
    :) nice to know that a po semitism piqued your interest too.

  3. Participate in the blogging contest at soon...