Seeing ladybirds in the garden is good news for your plants as the larvae gorges on aphids that are having a good attempt at devastating your plants. The lifecycle of a ladybird is only about 7 weeks maximum depending on what species. The eggs (anything up to 300) will be laid close to an aphid colony along with some unfertilised eggs for extra substance when the eggs hatch. Once hatched, the larvae has six legs and a long body.
It goes about doing its business tidying the aphids from your plants at a rate of knots and growing rapidly. This stage lasts between 1-2 weeks and in this time regularly sheds its skin to allow for growth. Once it is fully grown it will attach itself to a stem of a plant by its tail to pupate. The skin splits down it's back to expose the pupae, at this point it is the size of a ladybird but is wrapped in a protective coating while it goes through its last stage of metamorphosis. This final stage lasts only a couple of days before it emerges as a lovely ladybird 🐞 so it is pretty appropriate that its collective noun is 'a loveliness' of ladybirds 🐞🐞 how gorgeous!!