Cotton Harlequins by girlie

Cotton Harlequins

I got more than I bargained for when I stopped to photograph a Confederate Rose tree on the front verge of a nearby laneway yesterday. On several leaves I found a huge colony of Cotton Harlequin Beetles (Tectocoris diophthalmus) engaged in all sorts of domestic and child-rearing duties. These are male Harlequins moving a baby (the tiny red one) from this leaf over to another, where others had encircled a large colony of babies. On yet another leaf, I found a huge female Harlequin perched atop her crop of eggs. These Harlequins are members of the jewel beetle family and, as their name suggests, can wreak havoc in cotton crops. They also enjoy sucking the sap from hibiscus plants, which the Confederate Rose is related to. I'll post the other photos in due course, just wanted to get this one uploaded before the day gets underway.
Now see http://365project.org/girlie/365-2 for photo of the mother Harlequin guarding her eggs.
They are just sooooo gorgeous - I want to make a piece of jewelry out of them. Great capture Robin
April 5th, 2011  
please tell me that you googled this to get all this info..you are like a walking encyclopedia. I am very impressed. love the shot...how long were you hanging around and watching the action. i think i would be engaged for some time :) great shot..great detail
April 5th, 2011  
Wow! This is awesome! Their colors are gorgeous! It is so very cool that they share in the parenting! Wonder capture and description! :0)
April 5th, 2011  
Wow, these colors are amazing!
April 5th, 2011  
This is amazing ! am spending some time with my sister on the her farm and had so many bug images today !, but nothing quite like this !
April 5th, 2011  
That's an incredible shot and story Robin! Love all the colours. Your day has started, I'm off to bed! :-D
April 5th, 2011  
Superb shot. They sound really interesting - thoroughly enjoyed your narrative.
April 5th, 2011  
I never knew what they were called. So well named and such great colours.
April 5th, 2011  
@robinwarner Thanks, Robin. You do make me laugh; so funny. I knew they were jewel bugs but googled to find their proper name. (Google is a very good friend of mine, I'm sure I've mentioned before.) I went back in the afternoon after finding a pic. on the net of a female sitting on eggs and had a better look at the tree. That's when I found, to my delight, the big female I mention above. I'll post her photo next.
April 5th, 2011  
I love those beetles .. they remind me so much of my childhood spent in the garden amongst the hibiscus :)
April 5th, 2011  
Such a beautiful and colorful shot! A really wonderful find.
April 5th, 2011  
I learn the most interesting things from you. This is a great shot. You do get great macros.
April 5th, 2011  
Very interesting narrative, and super photo as well! I like your choice of framing, too. We learn about so much more than photography as part of this community! :-)
April 5th, 2011  
oh please do...i find bugs fascinating to watch their busy little lives...i so enjoy learning from you. i saw an artichoke plant today...took a photo and totally thought of you... :)...
April 5th, 2011  
What a great picture. They look like they should be in a circus. Very very nice capture, Robin.
April 5th, 2011  
Beautiful color on this. Thanks for the entomology lesson as well.
April 5th, 2011  
WOW!!! instant fave!!! Incredible colour !!!!
April 5th, 2011  
wow
April 5th, 2011  
They are so pretty! An amazing shot Robin.
April 5th, 2011  
Lovely picture of domestic responsibility, Robin, and an interesting commentary. Nothing wrong with asking Mr Google to check your facts instead of assuming your guess is right and being proved wrong!
April 5th, 2011  
such pretty little creatures for being able to wreak such havoc! fantastic capture and, of course, tutorial!
April 5th, 2011  
Cool capture! Great color!!
April 5th, 2011  
I love the colors and textures on this one.
April 5th, 2011  
WOW!
April 6th, 2011  
Amazing capture.
April 6th, 2011  
Never saw these before - not the first time with your shots:-). Truly wonderful and the more so for your fun and interesting words.
April 6th, 2011  
What a great shot Robin!
April 6th, 2011  
What colorful little creatures!
April 6th, 2011  
Wow! those are very colorful beetles...I love it!
April 6th, 2011  
They look like jewels. I don't know how you capture these amazing pictures.
April 6th, 2011  
The picture doesn't even look real - I love the colors!
April 6th, 2011  
Wow! What great colors these bugs have!! So interesting, I have never seen these before!
April 6th, 2011  
Wow nice shot
April 6th, 2011  
What an interesting AND beautiful shot..excellent shot!
April 6th, 2011  
wow, lovely to check out these creatures, cheers !
April 6th, 2011  
Just wonderful Robin. Like precious gems.
April 6th, 2011  
It IS unreal. What color and detail!
April 6th, 2011  
These are so kewl.. I love the color.. fantastic shot!!!
April 6th, 2011  
wow, Robin the colours are amazing, fab shot!!
April 6th, 2011  
What a sweet picture of these toys like bugs.
April 6th, 2011  
pretty bugs but do they eat your plants?
April 6th, 2011  
Awesome shot....
April 6th, 2011  
wow great capture! Love the colours.
April 6th, 2011  
A fav for me. The color and the event capture are magical.
April 6th, 2011  
What an interesting picture, an amazing find! i can't wait to see more! And the information really adds to the shot! Thanks for commenting on mine!
April 6th, 2011  
Beautiful beetles- they are so colourful!
April 6th, 2011  
Magical.
April 6th, 2011  
Fabulous! Those beetles absolutely look like jewels. What a wonderful capture, Robin! I'm glad to read that they are enlightened to the point the males share in child care duties.
April 6th, 2011  
I laughed at your domestic duties comment. They do look organised and very attractive. Nature disguises lots of it's demons in pretty clothes.
April 6th, 2011  
Fantastic colours and well spotted (pun intended) Robin!
April 6th, 2011  
Wow, that might be the prettiest bunch of bugs I've ever seen.....too bad they can be so destructive. Great shot and interesting read!
April 6th, 2011  
Fabulous color. I photographed some form of jewel bettle when I was there all those years ago. He was sitting on some steps in Sydney and my traveling companion thought that was the strangest thing to take a picture of.
April 6th, 2011  
Congrats on PP.
April 7th, 2011  
Love the colors. Those bugs are so cool looking.
April 7th, 2011  
Wonderful shot Robin. Absolutely riveting stuff.
April 7th, 2011  
Beautiful colors, thanks for all the wonderful info. I hadn't even seen the baby until you mentioned it and I had to go back and take another look.
April 7th, 2011  
Great colors!
April 7th, 2011  
You all have the best looking bugs and birds in Australia! These are beautiful.
April 7th, 2011  
Quite colorful little bugs.
April 7th, 2011  
Awesome shot!!
April 7th, 2011  
Awesome and informative.. I've never seen anything like it.
April 7th, 2011  
They are fantastic with wonderfully bright coloring and beautiful markings.
April 7th, 2011  
They are just gorgeous little creatures!
April 7th, 2011  
Wow! Never seen them before, quite something - fab piccie!
April 7th, 2011  
This pic is on the start page to 365 (before you log in). Onya Robin!
April 8th, 2011  
Your narrative about these beetles is quite interesting. I checked out the other picture too. wow she is quite a bit bigger than the males and looks like she could belong to a different species altogether
April 8th, 2011  
@hunnybee Thanks Melissa. I missed that one; seems to have gone now but nice to know it was there.
April 8th, 2011  
Their colors are just amazing, well done
April 8th, 2011  
Wonderful pic! Love the commentary! You made the PP!
April 8th, 2011  
Nicely taken. wow a lot of them are moving the baby
April 8th, 2011  
Wow, amazing find! These are interesting bugs! Thanks for the info!
April 9th, 2011  
Never seen bugs like these before. Nice shot.
April 10th, 2011  
These are absolutely beautiful, and what an amazing shot.
April 11th, 2011  
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