May 01, 2012

Ladybug life cycle

Ladybug Bioilogy and Life Cycle

The ladybugs life cycle is approximately four to six weeks long. The adult ladybug will lay as many as three hundred eggs among an aphid colony where the eggs will hatch within five days. These newly hatched ladybugs, or larvae, are dark colored and almost alligator-like, growing up to one centimeter in length.They will then eat the aphids for up to a three week time period before entering their pupa stage for approximately a week until they emerge into the adult ladybug. Within a twenty-four hour time frame, they will have their spots.


Within a year’s time, there can be as many as six generations of ladybugs hatched. 

 


Lady Bug Life Stages

The ladybug goes through four life stages; Egg, Larvae, Pupa, and Adult. Ladybug eggs are yellow and are laid in tiny clusters frequently attached to leaves. After about a week the eggs hatch and become small black larvae with orange and white markings. Although the larvae do not have any wings they are still very mobile little creatures.

Ladybug larvae will shed their exoskeletons (molt) exactly three times before the pupation process begins. The small orange and black pupa attach themselves to rocks, leaves, stems and other solid objects before emerging as fully grown ladybugs. Before reaching full maturity, the ladybugs have wings that are yellow. After the wings harden they assume the appearance that most people are familiar with red and black. The adult ladybug is about half the size of a pea, oval-shaped, and bright red with six black spots on each wing.

Lady Bug Diet

Contrary to popular misconception, ladybugs DO NOT eat plant matter. In fact, they are protective to gardens in many situations because they eat smaller insects known as aphids. Ladybugs have a substantial impact on the ecosystem, because they consume large quantities of these aphids, which are tiny herbivorous creatures capable of ruining entire fields of agriculture by consuming plant matter and spreading various plant diseases. For this reason ladybugs are often used as a means of natural and safe pest control in home gardens.

Ladybugs have even been shown to be highly effective against spider mite infestations. Since the ladybugs’ survival depends upon the presence of aphids, they will only lay eggs near plants where there are aphids available for their offspring to feed on.

 

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