If you thought ladybirds (or ladybugs) are just spotty beetles take a look at these. I found them on the bronze fennel, which is infested with greenfly. There are many two-spot ladybirds in various stages of development. Between the two adults here are five larvae from small and skinny to big and fat, including one that appears to have just emerged from its old skin. Then there are two pupae, the stage when the ladybird changes to a beetle. Unfortunately, I couldn't find eggs to complete the life cycle. I do have quite a good shot of ladybirds mating, but as I captured that a few weeks ago it can't be shown here.
Have I put you off ladybirds yet? Well, here's something else I've discovered about them. During a drought when everything is very dry (it happens here occasionally) ladybirds are not fussy about what or who they bite. Their bite feels like a sharp sting similar to a mosquito bite.
But they are cute little bugs, aren't they?
Best seen in large
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