Ladybird Being Paratisised

The Ladybirds have been mating in the garden in the few spells of nice weather we have had

Doing It
Doing It Again

There are plenty of aphids for them to eat. I don’t use pesticides at all so guess this helps
Dinner On A Leaf

The Harlequin ladybird larvae have started to pupate in the garden. I am hoping to get some timelapse of them emerging. We have been photographing their development over the last few days. Whilst doing this we noticed something attached to the side of one of them. On looking at the enlarged photos we saw a fly attached to the side of one. This has kindly been ID’d by Helen Roy of UKLadybirds as a Phorid Fly that parasitises ladybird larvae. We reviewed some more photos and my wife, Rebecca, has captured the Phorid fly approaching the larvae and attaching itself. She has very kindly let me use her photos in the blog. I am monitoring the larva to see how its’ development differs to the others.

Harlequin Larva
Ladybird Larva

Then the Phorid fly moves in
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IMG_3860.jpg

It seems to be injecting it
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Thanks to Rebecca for the above photos

It then attached itself
Ladybird Larva Being Parasitised

The normal larva shed it skin and turned yellow/orange
Pupating

It then developed more of a ladybird look
Rising Up

Ladybird Pupating

The paratisised larva seemed to get stuck in it’s first skin
Shedding Skin

A day later it had changed colour but still seemed stuck
Paratisised Pupa

I will keep an eye on them over the next few days to see what differences occur between thwm. I also hope to timelapse them emerging, it would be great to get both of them!