Ladybug Life Cycle
Types of Insects
The gardner's favorite beetle, the ladybug (family Coccinellidae) goes through a four stage life Cycle:
- Eggs: The shortest of the ladybug stages, eggs are typically laids on leaves and hatch anywhere from two to five days.
- Larvae: Once hatched, the larvae spend approximately three weeks eating nearby insects such as aphids. They shed their skin through the course of four instars or stages. The picture shows a larvae in a latter stage.
Larval ladybugs are small in size, and do not resemble adults. The importance of recognizing a ladybug larvae rests in the fact that it helps insure larvae survival and ability to continue consuming garden pests.
- Pupa: Mature larvae take a time out from eating to form a pupa, or hardened shell in order to make the final transformation to adult. The pupa stage lasts approximately one week.
- Adult: Adult ladybugs emerge and begin the feeding and reproduction cycle. .
© 2011 Patricia A. Michaels