Friday, 30 May 2014

7-spot Ladybird

The Ladybird life-cycle
Like all insects, Ladybirds go through three stages of growth before becoming adult. The life-cycle is quite short and at a temperature of around 25C, the egg to adult stage can be completed within a month. Ladybird ovae (eggs) are small, with even the largest species such as Eyed Ladybird producing eggs of around 1mm length.

Ovae are yellow/orange and are laid in conspicuous groups on a variety of surfaces and usually within a good supply of aphids. A female Ladybird can lay several hundred ovae, with the female Harlequin being capable of laying up to 1000 ovae during her lifetime.

Ladybird larvae vary. Most species show differences in size, but all are marked differently. In some closely related species, these differences can be subtle and closer examination is required to determine species accurately. Most Ladybird larvae generally feed on a diet of aphids, but some species are vegetarian, eating plant material and mildews. The pupal stage is short (shorter at high average temperature) and pupae are fixed in a wide variety of sites. Certainly, 7-spot Ladybird larvae will make use of posts, plant stems and walls as a pupation site

All photos were taken in my garden and you can find out more about ladybirds HERE