The Ladybugs, one of the funniest and most beloved insects on the planet. People say they bring good luck. They are colorful, often red or orange, and they inspire sympathy.
Moreover, these insects are also used in organic farming. But ladybugs can also be formidable predators, emitting poisonous substances when they feel threatened.
Although, most people know the adult ladybug, which is in globose shape with red with black spots on their shell. Rarer are those who know its eggs, larva, or pupa. In today’s post, we welcome you to explore and find its life cycle with the different stages of growth.
Here, we’re sharing an amazing episode broadcasted by TDtangents YouTube channel about Ladybug life cycle in a time-lapse way:
This video is a real gem and also featured on The Dodo (a popular site that shares best animal related stories and videos)!
Kids, our parents never threatened us about ladybugs. But, here are the uncensored facts, and in the background, we can hear a fantastic banjo tune with a sharp HD time-lapse close-up visuals!
We see in this rare video; there are light yellow eggs that are united to a tree-branch. Even though these eggs are helpless to predators such as Cannibal, also from their hatching siblings too. The remaining or survived eggs produce larvae that undergo metamorphosis and then turn into the fresh ladybugs (Coccinellidae). They are also recognized as ladybirds. The above time-lapse from TDtangents captures the complete process of the ladybugs’ lifecycle.
The Characteristics Of Ladybugs
Ladybugs are insects belonging to the large family of beetles. Most of them are characterized by a bright color, which allows keeping predators away.
This beetle family can be distinguished from others by a pair of elytra (hard, speckled wings) with which its insects are endowed and which protect their abdomen and chest when at rest.
The body, hemispherical or ovoid in shape, consists of a small head and short, flat antennae. The oral apparatus is very sophisticated. Like all insects, they have six articulated legs.
The Life Cycle Of A Ladybug
Ladybugs or Coccinellids are part of the Endopterygota; a superorder of insects of the Pterygota subclass. They pass from the larval stage to the chrysalis, to the adult stage or complete metamorphosis (a term applied to those processes in which the larvae differ considerably from adults).
Mostly, the ladybugs mate in summer or spring. The female lays a group of eggs (from a few to hundreds, it depends on the species) as close as possible to a group of aphids. In most ladybugs species, those eggs hatch, and give birth to the larvae just within a couple of days to a week. The larval stage lasts 10-15 days, then after the next stage is the state of chrysalis or pupa, before becoming the adult ladybugs.
The whole life span of the ladybug remains hardly around seven weeks. Most species produce only one generation per year, although some produce two.
Along with fertile eggs, ladybugs also lay infertile eggs. Those seem to produce a backup feed source for the larvae after the eggs have hatched. Even the ratio of infertile to fertile eggs rises proportionally with food deficits at the time of spawning. So amazing!
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For teachers & parents – you can use these ladybug lifecycle figures to teach kids.
Did you know? Some species are just migratory and form large aggregations through the seasonal time or when they hibernate during the wintertime. Like butterflies and moths, ladybugs living in warm regions enter a dormant state, known as diapause, during the winter. And some species (for example, Hippodamia convergens) accumulate in groups and travel to higher terrain, such as a mountain range to enter diapause.
Ladybug: Facts And Curiosities
The ladybirds belong to the order of Coleoptera and are divided into approximately 6,000 species in the world. The longest ladybugs are seen around 10mm. The ladybugs are defined by a round shape, contrasting colours, and a mottle more or less conspicuous. They normally feed on plants and mushrooms. Despite their sweet and pleasing appearance, ladybugs are fearsome predators (greedy for mites, but always ready to change their diet to survive) and also capable of tremendous acts of cannibalism!
The bright colours of the body are also one of the tools through which ladybugs keep enemies at bay, associating red, orange, and yellow with the idea of poison and danger. The ladybug strategy works so well that many other animals mimic their colours and mottling to ward off enemies!
After having laid, females return to hunt, but if in their wandering they return to the place of deposition they immediately begin to feed on the eggs.
They are little used for biological control in agriculture. However, raising ladybugs is not easy at all due to the bad habit of the larvae to eat each other, which brings juvenile mortality to very high levels. For this reason, ladybugs are very expensive insects that are poorly adapted to biological control programs.
Ladybugs also protect themselves by emitting toxic substances, repellents, and bad smells!
Why Are Ladybugs Said To Bring Good Luck?
Let’s start by saying that not in all cultures of the world, the ladybug is seen in this light. Let’s say that the ladybug as a lucky charm is a specific trait of many cultures.
For example, in western regions of this planet, the ladybug is related to the goddess of fertility. Moreover, in several European countries, this animal is linked to the Madonna, who was often represented in the Middle Ages with a red cape.
According to Babylonian astrology, the seven black points typical of the cuirass of the common ladybird would be a symbol of the seven joys and the seven sorrows of the Virgin Mary. It is no coincidence that in some regions the ladybug has been also known as the “Madonna beetle.”.
“The ladybug does not live long: a year, sometimes two. The ladybugs mate. Females will give eggs. Their larvae will be born, and the cycle will begin again.”
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