It looks like my observation of the ladybug life cycle is over for now. The cocoons that I saw at my last ladybug post are now empty, making me wonder when exactly the ladybug nymphs started on this aspect of their life cycle.
No thanks to the rainy weather over the last few days, I couldn’t observe the cocoons as closely as I wanted to, and am left with unanswered questions. Could they have become ladybugs in just a couple of days? It’s mind-boggling to think about. Just imagine changing from the long-bodied nymph to a round-shelled beetle over a few days – it’s like magic!
Anyway, the pupae are gone, leaving just parts of the cocoons behind. Now that I know what those black bits are, I realize there were a few others on the plants when I first discovered the nymphs. So, either they all hatched at different times or they grew at vastly different rates.
And in case I didn’t mention it before, this particular brinjal plant shares a pot with Dahlberg Daisies, which I planted as an attractant to pollinators. I guess it worked! Anyway, the ladybug cocoons were on both the brinjal and Dahlberg Daisy plant stems.
I did spot a tiny ladybug on the brinjal plant. It must have been all of 2 millimetres across, and had literally only a couple of spots, but in reverse – most of the body was black while the spots were red. It was a really cute bug!
The question in my mind now is when the ladybug nymphs pupate, do they emerge as big or tiny ladybugs? So many questions, so much more to learn and observe…