News & Notes 713:The Mexican Bug

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713 icon.jpg   News & Notes 713
2 September 2017

The Mexican Bug

“In Pandipur, the war is against Lantana. The forest department is banking on a bug to deal with the Lantana menace. Called ‘Teleonemia scrupulosa’, or ‘Lantana lace’ (also the Mexican bug) it has begun eating the Lantana leaves vigorously. Sudheer of Voice for Wildlife worries about the impact of this bug on native plants. “What if the bug mutates and becomes a greater menace”. (The Hindu - 27.8.17, p.1).

Lantana camara is a very common bush in Auroville and in the Kodaikanal region, where Auroville has its Nature Camp. According to the Mother, the spiritual name for Lantana’s flowers is “cells”. The British brought Lantana in India 200 years ago for ornamental purpose but now it took too much territory for itself. Every species of plants and animals has its own battle for life and Lantana is very successful at it in India. This insect isn’t currently part of Auroville’s fauna but it may be possible in future. The insects are ancient creatures and their mutability is great.

What kind of plants in Auroville can the Mexican bug attack beside Lantana? Hibiscus? I hope that the mighty Lord will care about Hibiscus. We already have enough Indian insects eating Hibiscus. But maybe Lantana isn’t afraid of them and it is attractive for the pollinators. I’m not sure that Lantana is now bad for the Auroville’s ecosystem. Of course it could possible in future. And what about the Mexican bug? Is India for it better than Mexico? We will see. The Auroville’s flora and fauna is very rich. The mission of life in Auroville is almost accomplished.

Nowadays people have so many cellphones, computers, motorbikes but they mainly do not know what are Lantana and bugs. But mankind is a part of nature; people are not part of industry. The ignorance about nature is ignorance about themselves. The ancient wisdom speaks: cognosce te ipsum (Greek) – know yourself. Instead people know only about technique. More ignorance – more illnesses. It is like a boomerang.