Saturday, August 19, 2017

Life stages of a ladybug

Throughout the first half of summer, I was able to watch three of the four life stages of a ladybeetle happen on our dill.  As our dill plants grew and started attracting aphids, a pair of ladybeetles landed, laid eggs, and started a new generation.  Aphids are a ladybeetle's main diet (as well as other small, soft-bodied insects).  It was an educational experience watching the larvae grow in size, then become pupae, and then hatch into adults. Every couple of days I would head out to the food garden and check on the status of these amazing creatures, while watching the aphid population decrease!  (I have labeled the stages below.)  

1) Larva (instar #2 or 3) 

2) Larvae (instar #3 or 4) 

3) Larvae (instar #4) 

 4) Pupae (fore and middleground), Larva (instar #4, middleground)

 5) Adult (foreground), pupae (background)

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