Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Ladybirds on Patrol

There's been a recent hatch of those darlings of the rose garden, the Ladybug. Above is the very active larva.Hard to get him to stay still for the camera! They are voracious aphid eaters at this stage, which is about 2 weeks. They can consume 50-60 aphids every day! Then they slow down and find a leaf where they will begin the 'transformation' process.

This pupae is nearing the end of the transformation and shedding the outer skin. This process lasts about a week.
Wow, emerging as a whole new creature. Easily as beautiful as a butterfly.I've watched them emerge yellow like this one and slowly turn from orange to crimson, growing spots as they change
It only takes 3-4 weeks for the larvae to become an adult, but they can live as an adult up to 3 years. They hibernate over the winter.
I did a little folklore check on the Ladybug and it seems she has been well esteemed since the middle ages. Legend has it that during an agricultural crisis of the times, the Germanic peasants prayed for their crops to be spared. The ladybug appeared in their fields and saved the harvests from that time forward. Believing it a gift of the fertility goddess Freya they dubbed her "Our Lady's Bird" . In Switzerland, she is known as 'God's Little fairy' and is a symbol of good luck and fertility.

1 comment:

Erica said...

My kids really enjoyed all the pics of the different lady bugs!


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