Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lady Bug (beetle, bird) Larvae

Everyone knows what our beloved Lady-Bugs (Birds, Beetles) look like - we immortalize them in art, stickers, in jewelry or toys. Yet many can't say they recognize their "teenage", "youthful" appearance before they become the well known adult beetles.

Larvae of Lady Bug

Yellow jelly bean like eggs hatch little larvae that are quite unlike their adult beetle stage. I've seen folks immediately want to kill and destroy them, thinking they are an unwanted insect. Quite contrary. The larvae are also fierce predatory insects. Female adult beetles lay their eggs near a "food" source for a reason. They feast on aphids, other insect eggs and other unwanted pests that plague our gardens.

Larvae turning into Pupae
Please take a good look at both the larvae stage and the pupae stage of the Lady-bugs we have here in the GTA. Please help to protect their nesting areas. They love laying eggs on foliage near ground level. We gardeners need all the help we can get!  If you see large numbers of aphids, you're sure to find some lady bugs hidden within their territory.

Full Pupae


  1. Hi,
    I teach kindergarten and I am looking to purchase some ladybug eggs that the class can care for and watch grow into ladybugs.
    Do you sell any kits or know anyone who would?

    1. Hi Maria, Unfortunately, you wouldn't be able to buy ladybugs in their larvae stages. Lady bugs are packaged and stored in refrigerated units (the cold acts as winter - their hibernation time). They would die at a larvae/egg stage otherwise. You would however be able to buy the adult beetles as a biological control at any reputable garden centre (Plant World Ltd in Toronto) during the late spring season. To get them to reproduce and lay eggs would be a true stroke of luck in captivity. The best way I could think to try, is to find lady bugs and larvae on plants as I did in this post and look for leaves with eggs beneath. Removing the leaves with their stems and then putting them in some sort of aquarium would allow you to try, but I'm not sure how successful it would be for your class.

      Perhaps buying some lady bugs and showing them in a good aquarium set-up may get them to lay eggs, but you'd need aphids or other bugs to allow them to feed. Lots of work in my opinion.


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