Two Spot Ladybird
These common, carnivorous beetles are sometimes used as a biological control agent, consuming aphids in greenhouses for example, and it was for this purpose that they were introduced into Australia. Like many ladybirds, their appearance can vary, and they have red and black forms, with the latter more common in the north where it helps absorb the sun’s heat. Their life cycle is of the egg-larva-pupa-adult variety. The larvae don’t resemble their parents, and bite their way out of the eggs, before going through four stages of increasing size, shedding their old skins as they grow. Because of the presence of certain bacteria, some Two Spot Ladybird populations are mostly female, with the dead males being eaten by their sisters.
By Neil Griffin Photo by Joyce Clerk