Ambela Buner

Ambela is a small and beautiful village in Buner, Pakistan. It's the entrance of Buner Valley from District Mardan. Ambella is famous for "Ambela War 1863", which was fought between Mujaheddin and British army. I will post some detail of the war after consulting with my friend and colleague Mr. Rahim Zada, who has research on Ambella War. Personally I like this place for three reasons, It's natural beauty, moderate weather and a water well, which is famous for it's cool and hygienic water.

Ambela Buner Valley
Good Bye Sign boards at Ambela from Family Planning Department Buner and District Nazim Rauf Khan.

Flat-tailed House Gecko Cosymbotus platyurus

 Flat-tailed House Gecko (Cosymbotus platyurus or Hemidactylus platyurus) is a member of family Gekkonidae. This a common species found in Pakistan. There will be hardly any house where there is no Flat-tailed House Gecko. In the night they can be found easily around the lights, waiting for their prey. In the day they hide in a darker place. They are commonly known as House Lizard or Wall Lizard. In Urdu they are known as chipkali (چھپکلی).
Let me share a sad incident, which occur in our village, because of a house gecko. Three kids of a family died after drinking milk. When they check the milk pot, there was a dead house gecko at the bottom. No one did a chemical analysis of the milk. However this incident lead to a general concept among the villagers that the house gecko is poisonous and should be keep away from the food articles.

House Gecko (Cosymbotus platyurus)
House Gecko
House Gecko
House Gecko
House Gecko Young Ones
House Gecko Young Ones
House Gecko Eggs
House Gecko Eggs

Okra - Lady's Fingers

This post is not about how to grow okra? Or what is the food value of okra? But a post to share my pictures (as always) I took in relation with my okra plat. Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) also know as lady’s fingers is tropical annual plant in mallow family, cultivated for its edible, mucilaginous green pods. Okra is widely cultivated and used in Pakistan. In Urdu it’s called Bhindi (بھنڈی). Okra is one of my favorite vegetables and I never get fed up eating it. The okras plants I grew this year produced large amount of okras and even after 4 months the plants are producing okras in excess of our need, while the other farmers have already cut their okra plants. These okras are of dark green color with less seeds. I sowed the seeds in the 2nd week of March and the plants started production from the first week of May, about 15 days earlier then the other farmers. One mistake I made in growing okra was, I kept one-foot distance among the rows, while the suggested rows distance was two feet, but I’m happy with this mistake as it increased production instead of decreasing.

Okra - Lady's Fingers
Okra - Lady's Fingers
Okra - Lady's Fingers
Okra - Lady's Fingers
Unusual Okra (Lady's Fingers) Pods
Okra - Lady's Fingers
Okra (Lady's Finger) Flower
Okra - Lady's Fingers
My Okra (Lady's Fingers) Plot
Okra - Lady's Fingers

Cletus trigonus-Slender Rice Bug

Cletus trigonus (Slender Rice Bug) Family: Coreidae, Order: Hemiptera.
Cletus Trigonus Mating Pair
Cletus Trigonus Mating Pair

Drosophila melanogaster Life Cycle

Drosophila melanogaster (Common Fruit Fly or Vinegar Fly) is a species of Diptera, in the family Drosophilidae. It has yellow-brown body, with multifaceted brick red eyes, a black striped abdomen and a pair of translucent wings. It has a body size 2.5-3mm long.
Some features like rapid life cycle, low chromosome numbers (4 chromosomes), small genome size and giant salivary gland chromosome made Drosophila Melanogaster a major model organism in genetic studies.

Drosophila melanogaster (Fruit Fly) Life Cycle
The embryo(egg), which is about half a millimeter long, completes its development within 24 hours and hatches into worm-like first instar larva that is specialized for feeding and grows dramatically. The larva molts 24 and 48 hours after hatching to produce second and third instar larvae. A mature larva is about 7-8 mm long.
About three days after the second molt, the third instar larva complete its growth, crawl out of food and pupate. The pupa on the average is 2mm long. Inside the pupa case the larva undergo a four-day-long metamorphosis, after which the fly emerges from pupa. The newly emerged flies are ready to mate in 8-12 hours.

Drosophila melanogaster (Fruit Fly) Life Cycle Pictures

Drosophila melanogaster (Fruit Fly) Male
Drosophila Melanogaster Male
Drosophila Melanogaster Male

Drosophila melanogaster (Fruit Fly) Female
Drosophila Melanogaster Female
Drosophila Melanogaster Female
Drosophila melanogaster (Fruit Fly) Mating
Drosophila melanogaster Mating

Drosophila melanogaster (Fruit Fly) Eggs
Drosophila Melanogaster Egg

Drosophila melanogaster (Fruit Fly) Larvae
Drosophila Melanogaster Larva
Drosophila Melanogaster Larva

Drosophila melanogaster (Fruit Fly) Pupae
Drosophila Melanogaster Pupa
Drosophila Melanogaster Pupa

Newly Emerged Drosophila melanogaster

This post is dedicated to Mr. Naveed Khan (my nephew) a student of M.Sc Genetics, Department of Genetics, Hazara University, Manshera, Pakistan, who introduce me to Drosophila Melanogaster and its raising techniques.

Bath White Butterfly Life Cycle

Bath White Butterfly

Bath White Butterfly (Pontia Daplidice) is one of the most common and widespread butterflies found in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. They are commonly seen in the months of April, May, September and October. Here are the pictures representing different stages of Bath White Butterfly Life Cycle.

Egg or Ovum Stage
Bath White Butterfly lay individual eggs on the host pant. The eggs are yellow-green when first laid (1st Pic) and then turn orange with the passage of time (2nd Pic). The common host plant in our area are wild mignonette, hedge mustard and sea radish. Eggs hatch in about 6-7 days.

Bath White Butterfly Egg  (Ova)
Bath White Butterfly Egg (Ova)

 Larva or Caterpillar Stage
Bath White Butterfly larva is basically of bluish-green color with yellow strips and black spots. The larva stage lasts from 3 to 4 weeks, depending on temperature.

Bath White Butterfly Caterpillar
Bath White Butterfly Caterpillar
Pre-Pupa Caterpillar

Pupa (Chrysalis) Stage
When the caterpillar is ready to pupate, it attaches itself to a stem or leaf at rear in an upright position, supported by a silk girdle at the center. It shades the outer skin within 24 hours and transforms into pupa. I observed the pupae in two different colors i.e. yellowish-green and brown. The Pupa stage lasts about 6 to 7 days.

Bath White Butterfly Pupa/Chrysalis
Bath White Butterfly Pupa/Chrysalis
Bath White Butterfly Pupa/Chrysalis

Adult Stage

Newly Emerged Bath White Butterfly

Figwort Weevil-Cionus scrophulariae

The Figwort Weevil (Cionus scrophulariaehas) is a member of family Curculionidae. They are about 4-5mm long (male smaller then female) and having hairy brownish body with black spots and a gray colored head and thorax. There are two large velvety black spots on the wing-cases, where the cases meet. They feed on the plants in Figwort family. I found this mating pair on mullein plant.

Figwort Weevil (Cionus scrophulariae) Mating
Figwort Weevil
Figwort Weevil
Figwort Weevil