About

Aglaia Bouma is the author of two Dutch novels and several short stories published in literary journals and anthologies. Some of those stories have been translated into English and can be found below.

As an amateur entomologist she enjoys photographing and filming insects up-close to share her fascination with these animals. Currently she's conducting research on the rosemary beetle Chrysolina americana - an invasive member of the leaf beetle family in The Netherlands.

Short stories

The Lily, Heaven on Earth and Hot stuff can be downloaded and read for free. You can purchase the other stories for only $0.99, or buy an anthology containing 10 of Aglaia's best for just $1.99.

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Insect photography

By using a macro lens even the smallest of bugs can be captured life-sized or bigger. You get to see the hairs on a butterfly body, the tongue of a bee or the fanning anennae of a mosquito.

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Insect videos

Did you ever see a bunch of larvae hatching? Or a zombie ladybird? Always wanted to know all about the life cycle of the rosemary beetle Chrysolina americana? Now you can. In close-up.

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Short stories

False Reality

False Reality

On his way to his brother, a man finds out the world isn’t what he thought it was.
How real are you really?
(Dutch version also published in anthology ‘Het geheim van de reiziger’ by uitgeverij Kontrast.)

The Cleaning Lady

The Cleaning Lady

An astonishing short story about a cleaning lady who keeps finding strange notes.
How much are you willing to do to earn a living?
(Dutch version also published in anthology “In de voetsporten van de meester” by uitgeverij LetterRijn.)

Character Country

Character Country

A miraculous journey through a world inhabited by a diversity of characters.

Unleashed

Unleashed

A dog is being taken away by its owner. Where are they going? And why?
(Dutch version of this story has been published in literary journal “Schoon Schip”.)

Drawing the Line

Drawing the Line

In a farewell letter to her husband, a woman explains what moved her to leave him.
Sometimes the real message is in what you don't say.

Memory lingers on

Memory lingers on

A deceased woman realizes she hasn’t really ceased to exist yet.
How do you want to be remembered?

Hot stuff

Hot stuff

With her greed, a woman incites her jealous new flame to take revenge.
What’s more important: matter or air?

Free download!

Power failure

Power failure

When visiting her dementing grandmother, a young woman is confronted with the finiteness of life.
What regrets will you have when the end is near?
(Dutch version of this story has been published in an anthology.)

Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

A woman overhears a conversation between two enigmatic old men.
Are they who she thinks they are?
(Dutch version of this story has been published in an anthology.)

Free download!

The lily

The lily

After a car accident a woman visits her seriously injured daughter in hospital.
What do you do when there’s nothing you can do?

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Self-portrait

Self-portrait

A colorless man paints a pretty picture of himself to the outside world.
How honest are you when showing yourself to others?
(Dutch version of this story has been published in a literary journal.)

Photo's

Below are just a few photographs of insects, with some information added. Many more pictures can be found on Aglaia's page on Flickr.

Small cabbage white Pieris rapae caterpillar

Pieris rapae

The small white overwinters as pupa, so when this caterpillar was found in broccoli during the fall, it was fed until it fastened itself to the lid of its jar, molted one last time and became a pupa. It remained in the refrigirator during the winter...

Small cabbage white Pieris rapae

Pieris rapae

...to eclose as an adult the next spring. In this picture she's expanding and drying her wings. You can tell it's a female because of the pattern of the spots.

Lacewing larva as clean-up crew

Gaasvlieglarf als opruimdienst

The larva of a lacewing (Chrysopidae) is very useful against aphids. It often hangs the remains of its prey and other debris on its back. By camouflaging itself like this, it diminishes the chance of being noticed and end up as prey itself.

Parasitoid wasp on host

Parasitoïde wesp op gastheer

In the caterpillar of a moth (Spilosoma sp.) an egg had been deposited by the mother of the parasitoid wasp (Aleiodes sp.) in the picture. The hatched wasp larva ate the insides of the caterpillar, after which it pupated in the mummified skin.

Social wasp with prey

Wesp met prooi

This German wasp Vespula germanica grabbed a mayfly. It's a worker wasp whose job it is to catch food for the larvae. She bites off the head and legs of the prey and brings the meat to the nest. As a reward, the larvae secrete a sugary substance which is eaten by the workers. At the end of the season, when there aren't many larvae left, the adult wasps will start looking for sugars elsewhere. In your food and beverage, for instance.

Mayfly Cloeon simile

Cloeon simile

These tender, slender creatures are aquatic insects. Most people only see them after they leave the water they spent their life in as nymph. The males of this species have several eye structures, the most striking of these the "tulban eyes" on top of their head. Adult mayflies are short-lived, so finding a female fast is very important. Actually, reproduction is their only goal. They cannot even eat.

Videos

Below you can view some of Aglaia's videos. Find more on her YouTube channel to which you can subscribe as well.

The Life and Loves of Rosemary Beetles

The rosemary beetle Chrysolina americana is a beetle from the Mediterranean. It’s rare in the Netherlands, where Aglaia Bouma lives. As an amateur entomologist she's been studying this species. In doing so she got the chance to make seldom seen recordings of its life history, among which the hatching of a minuscule larva and pupation.

Surprises Hovering between your Vegetables

Watch a marmalade hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus eclose, up close. Many hoverflies resemble wasps or bees, making predators and humans afraid of being stung and thus avoiding the flies. This phenomenon is called mimicry.

Chrysomela populi eggs hatching

The poplar leaf beetle Chrysomela populi doesn't distribute its eggs (like the rosemary beetle you can view above), but lays them grouped. In this video they're on the inside of the jar in which the mother beetle had been collected. Usually the eggs are deposited on the underside of a poplar or willow leaf. The larvae hatching live in social groups.

Zombie Ladybird Breaking Loose  

This victim of the tiny wasp Dinocampus coccinellae had been paralyzed for days, after the wasp's larva had eaten much of its insides and then crawled out. The wasp pupates inside a cocoon attached to a leg of the ladybird, which is forced to stand guard like a zombie, not able to do much except make some small twitching movements with its palps.
After five days, the paralysis (which is probably caused by a virus injected together with the wasp's egg) wore off, though the wasp hadn't yet emerged from its cocoon to which the beetle's legs still were firmly attached.
Only 25% of ladybirds being zombified like this survive the ordeal. Will this one?

Coccinella septempunctata on cocoon Dinocampus coccinellae