This, is a lady bug larvae
Isn’t it amazing how a lady bug, the adorable bug that we’ve all grown to know and love, came from this. Don’t let this scare you away though! Lady bugs can be very beneficial to your home! Take a look at what we have below to learn more!
Why Are Lady Bugs Good?
While ladybugs look sweet, they’re actually mighty hunters and begin as soon as they’re hatched. Their diet mainly consists of aphids, which are notorious plant ruining insects. Aphids are very similar to locusts in their tendency to swarm and eat everything. Combined with their ability to reproduce asexually and you have a great enemy to not just home gardeners, but farmers and their crops. When farmers discovered that the presence of ladybugs meant no more aphids, they were a welcomed addition to their lands.
Life Cycle of a Lady Bug
Ladybugs are beetles, specifically of the coleopteran order. Their life cycle is most similar to a butterfly, consisting of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. A mother ladybug likes to lay her eggs on the underside of leaves to protect them from predators, and keep them close to a food source for when they hatch. Once they hatch, they’re ready to eat and will look for other insects like mites and aphids. They come out looking like little gators, but after a few days, they start the molting process that goes on until they’re ready to find a safe place to sleep and undergo their metamorphosis. Ladybugs emerge a few days later, looking like the adorable pals we know.
Lady Bug Facts
Their unique shells aren’t attractive in the animal kingdom; they are viewed as a warning to predators to not snack on these guys because they don’t taste good (Yuck!). There are roughly 500 different kinds of ladybugs in the US, and 5000 different kinds worldwide. They don’t just run red; ladybugs can also be yellow, orange, gray, black, brown, and believe it or not, pink!
Ladybugs are a great example of how every creature, no matter how many legs they have, serves a purpose in the ecosystems. It’s an innate reaction to squish or find a way to get rid of insects, but there are a variety of beneficial ones like the ladybugs that are around to help. Next time you see one, thank it for keeping your plants safe and being so cute while doing it!
Bloom Editor Danielle Schneider
Bloom Writer Leah Iannacone