Ladybug Life Cycle

– Overview

By: - Gardening - May 26, 2011
ladybug life cycle

Lady bugs are one of the prettiest and most well-loved of all of the insects on the planet.  They are not just nice to look at, but are considered as good luck by many cultures and also are the best friend of anyone who has a garden, warding off some bugs and even devouring the very pesky aphids that destroy rose bushes.  But are ladybugs harmful and do ladybugs bite?

Ladybugs are also known as ladybirds, and range in colour from a brilliant yellow to a dark black with spots ranging from none to twenty-two.  Native originally in Asia’s eastern side, it was introduced to Europe and North America to act as a natural means of controlling scale insects and aphids.

The ladybug life cycle consists of varied stages, ranging from the larval to the emerging adult.  The first five stages are when the ladybug is a larvae.  When the weather reaches approximately ten degrees Celsius, the new larvae emerges to wander about and eat off plants, really not doing much else and going very much unnoticed by most people.  After growing to its adult form, the ladybug will release pheromones, calling to other ladybugs and gathering in huge groups by the end of the summer, usually in the autumn.  Normally, during the summer, they fly across the globe to feast on destructive aphids and work with humans to keep their gardens green and protect their plants from destruction, if not unknowingly.  However, it is during their aphid feasting that sometimes there may be more ladybugs than there are aphids, as happened in Southern England in the mid-1990s.  Because there were insufficient aphids because the sudden numbers of aphids attracted swarms of ladybugs, most aphids were eaten, leaving large numbers of ladybugs without food.  Do ladybugs bite? Normally, they do not bite people, but if they are hungry and confused, as they were then, they did bite, a nasty little nip not meant out of spite or aggression, but out of pure hunger.  Was it harmful? No, just irritating at the time and most people never had any reactions.

The ladybug life cycle begins as the bug is created, going through varied stages as larvae until the ladybug reaches their full beetle-like shape and size.  As adults, ladybugs can have some issues to deal with, especially when there are more ladybugs than aphids, their favourite meal.  Many people as: do ladybugs bite; and of course they can if left to starve, but normally ladybugs are calm and friendly insects, amongst the prettiest and most pleasant to be around.

Photo: ladybug – copyright 2009, Gilles San Martin; reproduced under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License 2.0

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