- One ladybird may eat over 4000 aphids in a lifetime
- Ladybirds lay eggs on plants, usually near aphids or similar infestations Baby ladybirds are called larvae – they hatch from eggs after 3-4 days
- Larvae turn into adult ladybirds after about 3 weeks
- Ladybird habitats provide refuge all year round.
- Ladybirds secrete reflex blood (foul tasting yellow fluid) to deter predators.
- The harlequin ladybird from Asia out-competes our native species for food, as well as preying on larvae and is thus considered a serious threat.
Eggs – usually laid on plants in batches, eggs are yellow/orange in colour and hatch within 4 – 10 days, depending on temperature.
Larvae – varying in colour, these can be grey, yellow, buff or brown depending on he species. Most have a pattern of pale spots on some of the abdominal segments. They eat any unhatched eggs in their batch then disperse to feed.
Pupae – these vary in colour from of-white through various shades of yellow, orange, grey or brown to black. Many have spots or patterns on the main background colour. The pupal stage lasts 7-10 days.
Adult - The emerging adult looks yellow and unpatterned. But as blood is pumped into the elytra and wings to expand them the colour patters develop over the first hours of adult life.