Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Lifecycle of a Ladybug

Ladybugs lives are full of adventures. These two twirling ladybugs used my milkweed as a tightrope. After watching this video you will see why my ladybugs should join the circus.

ladybug eggs close up

Have you ever wondered how a ladybug starts its life? Ladybugs have similar life cycles to butterflies because they start out as tiny eggs, hatch as larva, make a pupa, and emerge as an adult with wings. The orange ladybug eggs are oval shaped and laid in clusters. It takes 2 to 5 days after eggs are laid for the ladybug larvae to hatch.

ladybug larvae hatched for book

The eggs above hatched into tiny ladybug larvae. Ladybug larvae look different then their parents. During the larvae stage they have no wings and crawl over plants in search for aphids.

ladybug larvae for blog 

The ladybug above is sucking juices out of a aphid.

One ladybug larva can eat 400 aphids before reaching the pupa stage. Each time the ladybug larva outgrows its skin it will molt. Ladybug larvae molt four times and with each molt they become bigger. After the last molt, the ladybug will enter the pupa stage.

Ladybug preparing to make pupa for blog

This ladybug is nearing a big transformation. The arrow is pointing to where the ladybug larva has attached itself. It secreted a fast drying adhesive that will keep it secured.

ladybug pupa for blog

Like a zipper the ladybugs larval skin has been shed away. Inside the pupa the ladybug larva is transforming into a ladybug adult with wings. They usually stay inside the pupa for 7 days.


After coming out of the pupa, the ladybug will wait for its new wings to harden. Ladybug species who have spots must wait at least a day for them to appear. Isn’t it amazing how a little creature could go through such an amazing journey. I am thankful God created tiny creatures like ladybugs for us to learn about and enjoy.

ladybug smiling Facebook

Ladybugs are friends to gardeners because they eat plant sucking aphids. Ladybugs live in shrubs, trees, and flowers wherever aphids can be found. There are around 5,000 different kinds of ladybugs worldwide. The use of pesticides on plants kills innocent ladybugs trying to get a meal. Using organic methods rather than pesticides will help the ladybugs in your own yard. The ladybug above sends a smile to all who take time to protect its ladybug children.


  1. Very Cool Thanks!

  2. Our 3rd grader will be learning about ladybugs rather than butterflies.

    Do you think there is any benefit to the change?

  3. Butterflies and ladybugs are similar in the effect that they have similar life cycles. They both experience complete metamorphosis starting as an egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The advantage of butterflies over ladybugs is that they are easier to observe during their maturity due to their larger size, but ladybugs are much cheaper in price. Just one butterfly pupa can cost 8 dollars!

  4. thanks, nice info, and nice pics too :-)

  5. wow,that is cool my kindergarden kid got a ladybug and she laid eggs so we will get to see this amazing transformation. Great timing since they are learning about metamorphosis.:)

  6. I think this lifecycle of the ladybugs is really intresting and I really want to learn alot of other insects like bettles or other kind i really liked your video.I hope you can post another video

  7. Here is my youtube channel which has about 70 videos featuring nature and my travels to Costa Rica and around the US.