It was a Saturday morning and I was photographing a pretty caterpillar on a jasmine creeper in my garden. Just when I had finished shooting the caterpillar, I spied upon a very interesting pattern on a palm leaf nearby. On close observation, I noticed that there were 11 dull white eggs. These formed the centre of the pattern. The vividly coloured nymphs (young ones of bugs) that had emerged from them formed a ring around the eggs!
I quickly set up my camera to take pictures. Looking through the camera, I was reminded of the great cricket huddle that one gets to see the Indian team indulging in. I noticed that all the nymphs were facing the inside of the circle! All the eggs were neatly cut on the top and most of them had the “lid” still in place. Having taken pictures, I looked amid the plants in the garden and found another clutch of a dozen eggs. I was amazed at the ability of the bug to lay eggs in a symmetrical fashion. I did not spare the eggs; I took pictures of them too.
And, soon, I saw the adult bug and photographed it! This meant that, in a span of 15 minutes, I had photographed the entire life cycle of a bug – all of this within a few square feet in my small garden!
Bugs, like butterflies and beetles, do not have a four-stage life cycle; they lack the pupal stage. When the nymphs emerge from the eggs they look like miniature adults and lack wings. They moult a few times as they grow and become adult bugs!