Ladybugs, beautiful to look but ravenous carnivores at their core. Although most ladybug beetles and their larvae are carnivorous, several feed on plants and are quite destructive.
Ladybugs use their markings to tell predators that they are not a great tasting meal! When threatened, they will secrete a foul-tasting and oily substance from the joints in their legs. As a last resort they may also even play dead.
Ladybugs lay their eggs in clusters on the underside of leaves. Normally in proximity to aphid gathering spots. Their larvae are long, black, and spiky-looking with orange or yellow spots. They emerge in a few days following the eggs being laid and when they hatch oh boy do they eat. Some say they look like tiny alligators.
The Larvae grow quickly and shed their skin several times. When they reach full size, they attach to a leaf by their tail, and a pupa is formed. Within a week or two, the pupa becomes an adult ladybug and the cycle continues.
+ Strong jaws make light work of insect flesh
+ Armoured carapace
+ Can fly
+ Excellent health in adult form
+ Defensive secretion
+ Can play dead
+ Can farm aphids
- Large appetites mean a lot of eating to sustain growth
- Not the strongest attacks
- Have a limited life cycle
- Specific areas for laying eggs
- Young can be vulnerable
Egg > Larvae > Pupa> Young Ladybug> Adult Ladybug
On the underside of leaves, under wood or sheltered areas
Omnivore - insects (prefers aphids) & fruit material