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Baby Ladybugs – don’t squish them!

I think Ladybugs are one of the prettiest (and handiest) bugs in the garden. Wait – I take it back, when they’re in larvae form they aren’t all that pretty. I found some strange looking bugs on my Cilantro plant today, and came in and Googled “ladybug larvae” — inspired to do this because I had just read about ladybugs in the book: “A Very Small Farm” in which author William Winchester mentions ladybug eggs in on of his daily journals. In Google’s Image results I came across this great collection of the life of ladybugs in photos. Check out the photographer, Helen Roman, here.

Ladybug Larvae
Photos © Helen M. Roman – www.hmrprint.com

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And in case you were wondering how long this process takes, below is an excerpt & life cycle graphic:
Info & image from: www.geocities.com/sseagraves/ladybuglifecycle.htm

The life cycle of the ladybug is between four to six weeks. In the spring the adults lay up to three hundred eggs in an aphid colony. The eggs hatch in two to five days. The newly hatched larvae feed on aphids for up to three weeks, and then they enter the pupa stage. The adult ladybug emerges about a week later. However, they usually do not have their spots for their first 24 hours of adulthood. So, if you catch one in your schoolyard without spots, you may have found a brand new adult. There may be as many as six generations of ladybugs hatched in a year.

Ladybug Larvae