Wednesday, 3 August 2011

ladybirds who lunch

the lady bird is named after 'Our Lady's Bird' as Mary, 'Our Lady'  was often depicted wearing a red cloak in early paintings, and the 7 spots of the most common ladybird were said to symbolise her 7 joys and 7 sorrows....

there are four stages to the ladybird's lifecycle-the egg,larva, pupa (chrysalis) and adult. The larva passes through 4 instars (sheds it's skin 4 times) over a period of 3-4 weeks before becoming a pupa. This rather ugly specimen is around the 3rd instar. 

a pupa (2 weeks)

ladybirds are bright yellow on emerging from the pupa and over the next few hours their wing casing hardens and the colour pattern develops

                     a newly emerged ladybird with the wing casing beginning to harden

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