Kenya Natural History Guide >>> Insects >>> Beetles >>> Lady Beetle (Pupa)

Lady Beetle

A Coccinellidae pupa from Eldoret, Kenya. Photo © by Michael Plagens

This pupal stage of a lady beetle is affixed to a kale plant in Eldoret Kenya, January 2012. The head of this insect is facing down.

pupal stage of a Coccinellidae, Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens The metamorphosis of the caterpillar into the butterfly is well known by many people. Few realize that many other kinds of insects undergo fantastic change during a resting stage. In beetles this resting stage is a pupa. Plural, pupae, of lady bird beetles, are often found attached to plants that are also hosting populations of aphids. After the larval stage has devoured countless plant-feeding bugs it adheres its posterior to the plant. Soon the larval skin splits and is shed back revealing an almost featureless and immobile pupa. After a short period of a week or so, the pupa moults and a brightly colored beetle with fully functional flight wings and a new life style emerges. The presence of Coccinellidae pupae on garden crops is a good sign that nature is taking care of plant-feeding bugs and that the farmer should hold off the desire to spray!

Coccinellidae -- Lady Bird Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens. Page created 26 February 2013