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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.