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4 Stages of a Ladybug's Life

        Animals | Insects

The start of a ladybug life cycle
The start of a ladybug life cycle
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Ladybugs start as out as little eggs -- orange or yellow oval-shaped eggs, to be exact (it's a colorful life for a ladybug).

Egg laying takes place in the spring or summer, when female ladybugs disperse in search of prey. The ideal place for these ladybugs-to-be is on a protected spot (a plant stem, for example, or the underside of a rain gutter) near a colony of delicious aphids or mealbugs.

A ladybug produces anywhere from 20 to 1,000 eggs during the egg-laying season, usually about 10 to 50 eggs in each cluster [source: Weeden, Shelton and Hoffman; Thomas]. How long it takes an egg to hatch depends on a variety of conditions, but it usually doesn't take more than a week and sometimes only a few days. Little alligator-looking things -- ladybug larvae -- hatch from the eggs. And the first thing they do is eat their own eggshells.