I'm sure you know what this is:
But do you know where it comes from?
I never much thought about the life cycle of a Ladybug. I have always known that it was a "good" bug. Even little kids know that Ladybugs are safe to touch and are nice to have around the garden. But, until recently, I never knew how amazing Ladybugs are.
During my recent struggle with Aphids (see post here), I wanted to be sure that I educated myself about the other bugs in my garden so that I wouldn't kill the ones that were actually helping me keep the Aphids away. I already knew that Ladybugs eat Aphids, but I kept seeing this bug around:
I did a quick Google search and found out that it is referred to as a Ladybird. But you know what? It's a LADYBUG! A Ladybird is really just an early form of a Ladybug! I have always wondered what those alligator looking bugs were. Now I know!
So I kept my eyes open in the garden in case I might find other interesting bugs that I should keep around to help with my Aphid problem. I found this guy, practically suctioned to the leaves of my plants:
Worried that he might be consuming my precious vegetable plants, I did another Internet search. Guess what? It's a LADYBUG!!
The alligator looking baby (Ladybird) turns into this orange blob. I'm guessing it's kind of like a cocoon. It doesn't move at all, is totally stuck to the leaf, and the Ladybug emerges leaving a "skin":
Amazing! And to think, I always just thought Ladybugs were born the way we all know them:
But that's not all!! The other day, while inspecting my roses for Aphids, I saw this little cluster of orange "eggs":
Yup! Ladybug eggs!!
And a few days later, I checked back to see if they were still there and found this:
Baby Ladybirds (young ladybugs) just hatching out of their eggs! I can't believe that I have been able to see (and capture with my camera) every stage of a Ladybug's life in my own garden!