Ladybugs also called ladybirds and lady beetles belong to the family Coccinellidae.
There are about 5,000 different species of ladybugs in the world.
They live all over the world, except in Antarctica and the far northern regions of North America, Europe and Asia.
The natural habitat for ladybugs is areas of dense vegetation, such as forests, meadows, weed patches and gardens.
The average lifespan of a ladybug is 2 to 3 years.
They ranging from 0.8 to 18 millimeters (0.0315 to 0.708 inches).
They are commonly red, orange, or yellow with small black spots on their wing covers, with black legs, heads and antennae.
As well as the usual colourings, some ladybug species are black, white, gray, brown, pink and blue. Also some species can have stripes, or no markings at all.
A ladybug has two eyes but it doesn’t see very well. Ladybugs can only see the difference between dark and light.
The antenna is what helps a ladybug smell, taste, and feel its way around.
The six short little legs of a ladybug help it to walk, but they do more than that. The feet of a ladybug helps it smell.
Ladybugs have two pairs of wings, but only one pair is used to fly. The front wings are strong and protect the back wings. A ladybug’s rear or back wings are its flying wings.
A ladybug beats its wings about 5100 times a minute or about 85 beats a second when it flies.
Scientists believed that anything over 2 meters (7 feet) was a long-distance flight for a ladybug – but the new data shows they can actually travel up to 120 kilometers (74 miles) in a single flight. A detailed study has shown the creatures travelling at heights in excess of 1,100 meters (3,600 feet) and reaching speeds of 60 kilometers per hour (37 mile per hour).
As cold-blooded species, ladybugs mainly are diurnal, utilizing as much sunlight as possible for feeding and mating.
Ladybugs in temperate areas usually hibernate through the winter. Thousands of ladybugs may gather in the same location, taking advantage of the collective warmth of a colony.
Ladybug communicate with each other mainly through chemical signals (pheremones).
Their distinctive spots and attractive colors are meant to make them unappealing to predators. When threatened, the bugs will secrete an oily, foul-tasting fluid from joints in their legs. They may also play dead.
Four stages exist in the ladybug life cycle – a process known as complete metamorphosis. As ladybugs feast on aphids and other plant-eating insects, following sexual mating, females deposit up to 300 fertilized eggs among these plants. After 2 to 5 days, newly hatched larvae have an immediate feeding source for the 3 weeks they remain in this stage. After bulking up on aphids, larvae enter a resting stage as pupae. Following a week of this growth process, the adult ladybug emerges, fully formed and ready to keep eating.
One ladybug can eat up to 5,000 insects in its lifetime!
The term “lady” refers to the Virgin Mary. According to legend, crops in Europe during the Middle Ages were plagued by pests, and farmers began praying to the blessed Lady Mary. Ladybugs then appeared in the fields, miraculously saving the crops, causing the farmers to call them lady beetles.
Ladybugs aren’t true bugs – they’re beetles, as evidenced by their hard shells that hide a set of delicate wings.
A common myth is that the number of spots on the insect’s back indicates its age.
Many cultures consider ladybugs lucky and have nursery rhymes or local names for the insects that reflect this.
Ladybugs are, and have been for very many years, an insect of interest and favour for children.
NASA sent a few ladybugs into space with aphids to see how aphids would escape in zero gravity.
The bold colors and simple shapes have led to use as a logo for a wide range of organisations and companies.