Lifecycle of a Ladybug

 


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Ladybugs

 

Ladybug Facts 
 

  • Not all ladybugs are female.

  • A female ladybug will lay more than 1000 eggs in her lifetime.

  • Most adults live 1 year in that time can eat 5,000 aphids.

  • Unlike ladybug adults, ladybug larvae look sort of like to tiny alligators.

  • Before pupating, ladybug larvae can eat up to 400 aphids in 2 to 3 weeks.

  • Ladybugs complete metamorphosis like butterflies. After the pupa stage, they emerge as mature adult ladybugs.

  • When temperatures drop below 55 in the winter, ladybugs go through diapause or hibernation. They can survive in this state for up to 9 months!

  • Once temperatures reach 55 degrees, ladybugs can fly again and begin their search for food.

  • Ladybugs can migrate in groups, mostly to search for food. They can fly at 15 mph.

 

 

 

Ladybugs are a type of beetle; insects with six jointed legs. Ladybugs have special organs in their feet to help them smell. They use their antennae to touch, smell and taste.

Females lay their tiny eggs in yellow clusters under a leaf or stem, often near a colony of aphids (tiny garden pests that damage many plants.) Within a week, the eggs hatch into alligator-shaped larvae that start gobbling up aphids, tiny worms and a variety of insect eggs. Both larvae and the adults are beneficial predators in the garden.

 

The life cycle of a ladybug (egg to mature adult) takes 4 to 8 weeks. As adults, most ladybugs live 1 year and can eat 5,000 aphids in their lifetime. They also go through diapause or hibernate (up to 9 months) to survive the cold temperatures of winter (below 55 degrees). During this state you may find them in masses on tree trunks, logs, ground cover, and sometimes in buildings. They can't really fly again until it warms up (more than 55 degrees).

 

If you decide to release ladybugs purchased from a nursery into your garden, remember that they were forced to hibernate (in the refigerator) and once they warm up in your garden they will be HUNGRY! You might want to put a lid with droplets of sugar water below the plant so they have a hearty first meal. If they have enough food (aphids) they will mate and lay eggs, continuing the life cycle in your garden. A happy garden habitat is one without CHEMICALS! Watch for those funny looking alligator (larvae) and remember they are "teenager" ladybugs!

 

Ladybug Lifecycle