Bees, Butterflies, Dragonflies and Ladybugs... Gifts for All Ages
Cool Gifts & Toys For Bug Fans
Hello and Welcome! This page is about butterflies, bumblebees, dragonflies and ladybugs. As well as information about these cute critters, superb close-up photos and fun videos, I've also included links to my pages on the most popular, top-rated bug gifts and bug toys for all ages.
So whether you are interested in finding out more about bugs, or whether you are looking for a ladybug toy for a toddler, dragonfly gifts for a teenager, a bumblebee necklace for a friend, or a butterfly pendant for mum, you can find it all from here.
Butterflies are elegant and beautiful Lepidopterans, closely related to moths. They have tiny scales covering their wings, which give rise to the impressive colors, patterns and iridescence that we see. Butterflies are widely distributed around the world, although the majority of the 175,000 species live in the tropics, particularly the larger species. The only continent without butterflies is Antarctica.
Butterflies have a four-stage life cycle: starting as an egg, which hatches into a caterpillar. The caterpillar feeds and grows until it is ready to becme a pupa (to pupate). Eventually the pupa emerges, pumps up its wings and becomes an adult - this is called metamorphosis.
The photo by Michael, shows a black and orange butterfly, resting on a flower, in Thailand. It is in the public domain.
Butterfly Scarf Charms
Be right on trend with fun and adorable butterfly scarf pendants. They are lightweight and can be worn to dress up or casually.
All You Ever Wanted to Know about Butterflies
The videos below will show you all you ever wanted to know about butterflies from how they mate and grow to what they eat.
Your Views On Our 6-Legged Neighbours
Do you like insects?
Dragonflies are impressive flying machines, members of the Anisoptera, closely related to damselflies and demoiselles. They can fly forwards and backwards, quickly change direction in mid-air and perform astonishing aerial manoeuvres. Large dragonflies have maximum speeds of 22 to 34 miles per hour, depending on species, with a relaxaed cruising speed of around 7 miles per hour. The fastest recorded dragonfly is the Southern Giant Darner flying at nearly 60 miles per hour, although this was a rough measurement in the wild. Able to beat their two sets of wings out of phase and to control the angles of the wing pairs separately, they can fly in any direction or hover spectacularly, like an insect helicopter.
Dragonfly nymphs live in water, and remain aquatic for months or, for some species, years. Dragonfly nymphs and adults are fierce-some predators. Adults will capture and eat other insects, and particularly keen on mosquitoes. More than five thousand species of dragonfly have been identified around the world.
This great photo of a dragonfly in close-up was taken by Jon Sullivan, who has kindly put it in the public domain. Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org
Dragonflies on Film
Ladybugs are small beetles, and members of the Coccinellid family. They can be as small as 1 mm (0.04 inches) long, or as "large" as 10 mm (0.4 inches). They have bold coloration and markings, such as red with black spots, to warn predators away. Color patterns vary greatly, and include yellow, orange, or scarlet with black spots on the wing covers, black legs, head and antennae.
Seven-spot ladybugs are known as the gardener's friend because they are very active aphid predators. They can munch their way through more than 5,000 aphids during their year of life. The seven-spot is common in Britain and Europe. They now also live wild in North America where they were introduced to control aphids. Less popular are the Harlequin ladybugs which were also introduced to Europe and north America as a biological control agent for aphids. Unfortunately, their populations have spread too rapidly causing the decline of native ladybug species.
In many countries, including the UK, Australia, Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand and India, they are known as Ladybirds. Other names include the Lady beetles, God's cow, lady cow, ladyclock, and lady fly.
This superb macro photo of a ladybug is by Jon Sullivan, who has kindly released it into the public domain. Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org
Ladybugs In Action
Bees - Honey Bees, Bumblebees and Orchid Bees
Bees are very important to us, humans. Not just because they are interesting and brightly coloured, but also because of their role in pollinating plants and producing tasty honey and useful beeswax. About a third of our (human) food supply depends on insect pollination - bees, and especially the domesticated European honey bee, are responsible for most of this.
Bees are flying insects within the superfamily Apoidea. Many are social species, living in large groups. There are nearly 20,000 known species, and they are closely related to wasps and ants. Bees are found around the world, on every continent except Antarctica, and in every kind of habitat on the planet that contains insect-pollinated flowering plants.
Bees have a long proboscis (or "tongue"), and so are adapted for feeding on nectar and pollen. Pollen is also used as food for larvae.
Bees range in size from 2.1mm to 39mm in length - 5/64 of an inch to 1.5 inches! All have two pairs of wings, with the hind pair being smaller than the front pair. The best-known bee species is the European honey bee, which is kept by many beekeepers. Bumblebees are often a favorite because of their "fluffy". colorful appearance. I also like the beautiful deep blue and green Orchid Bees.
This stunning macro photo of a bee is by Jon Sullivan, who has kindly released it into the public domain. Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org
Beautiful Bee Jewelry
I love this sterling silver, black and tan enamel bee pendant. It has genuine diamonds to add a sparkle to the body and wings. Your bee comes with an 18-inch sterling silver cable chain.
Bumblebees in Flight
Some people used to say that bumblebees shouldn't be able to fly. They even claim that scientists have proved it. But, hey, no-one told the bees!
Bees, Bugs, Butterflies...
Which are the cutest?
The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough— Rabindranath Tagore