Wednesday, 22 June 2011

7-Spot Ladybird (Coccinella 7-punctata) Lifecycle

The garden is filling with ladybirds, and rather wonderfully I have only seen one alien Harlequin so far this year. All the others are 7-Spots (as in the photo above), with just one 2-Spot making an appearance so far.

As well as adults, there are plenty of odd looking but very distinctive larvae.

These are even better (and faster) at devouring aphids than the adults are. They have a voracious appetite as you can see in the pictures.

Once the larvae have eaten their fill and grown nice and big, they pupate on leaves (and protect themselves by looking a lot like bird droppings) until a they emerge as adult ladybirds.

Newly emerged ladybirds are soft and near colourless, and gradually harden and gain colour over the first few hours of their new adult life.

Then they busy themselves eating more aphids until they find a mate and can produce eggs which will hatch into more larvae, and the cycle begins again.

All the photos on this post were taken (in my garden) within a few weeks of each other.

1 comment:

  1. This is so wonderful..I didn't know all that about ladybirds..I'm learning it!
    Thank you so much for visiting me..

    T.D and Company