Ladybugs, whose scientific name is Coccinellidae, are small, red, pretty looking insects that are found mostly in the gardens. Ladybugs, as their name suggests, are not actually bugs but they belong to the family of beetles. The term 'coccinellidae' literally means a small red sphere in Latin. Another name for ladybugs is coleoptera, that means sheath winged. In the Middle Ages, these insects were named after the Virgin Mary, who was often shown wearing a red cloak in many paintings and were popularly known as the 'Beetle of Our Lady'.
The seven black spots on the wings of the ladybugs were said to represent the seven joys and seven sorrows of Mother Mary. The name 'Beetle of Our Lady' was eventually shortened to 'ladybug'. Other names by which the ladybugs are known are 'ladybird beetles' or 'lady beetles', 'lady cow' and 'lady fly'.
Apart from the standard red with black spots, there are different types of ladybugs that come in a variety of colors ranging from yellow, orange, maroon and scarlet. Some ladybugs are completely black, with bright red spots on their wings. Ladybugs are omnivores and feed on aphids, worms and other pests. Some ladybugs also eat glades of grass and leaves, wild mushrooms and other types of fungus. Let's see more about ladybug facts.
Classification of Ladybug
Given below is the taxonomy of the ladybug:
Fun Facts about Ladybugs
Ladybugs are fascinating creatures and are found all over the world. Here are some interesting facts about this insect:
- There are over 5000 different species of ladybugs that can be found across the globe. You can come across ladybugs in gardens, fields and grasslands etc.
- Since ladybugs are insects, they are cold blooded creatures.
- There are four stages of life cycle or metamorphosis that a ladybug undergoes - egg, larva, pupa and fully grown adult. A mature female ladybug can lay up to 1000 eggs.
- These eggs hatch within four fays. The ladybug also lays few infertile eggs, so that the larvae can feed on them once they hatch out of the eggs.
- The larvae resemble tiny alligators because they have bumpy skin and elongated bodies. The pupa or cocoon is bright orange in color and the fully matured adult emerges from it, within 12 days.
- The number of spots, pattern of markings on the wings and the color will help in identifying the type of ladybug. Not all lady bugs have round spots on their bodies, some even have white stripes instead of black spots.
- The bright colors of the ladybugs help them in distracting the birds from eating them.
- Many countries in the world consider ladybugs as a sign of good luck and rear them as pets.
- One of the most fascinating facts is that four ladybugs were taken into space in the year 1999 on a NASA space shuttle, led by Eileen Collins, along with a few aphids. They were taken to experiment if the aphids would be able to escape from the ladybugs in a zero gravity environment. But the ladybugs could survive in the micro gravity environment and ate up the aphids.
- Ladybugs undergo diapause, an adaptation similar to the hibernation in animals, during colder weather. A cluster of ladybugs gather under logs, crevices in buildings and tree trunks. They can survive without food during diapause for about 9 months.
- Ladybugs eat plants as well as other smaller insects. They chew their meals side by side and after every meal, they clean themselves.
- When it flies, the ladybird beats its wings for approximately 85 times in a second.
- In North America alone, around 450 types of ladybugs are found. As the ladybug grows older, the spots on the wings begin to fade.
Those were some amazing ladybug facts. Since ladybugs hunt down other insects that are harmful to crops, they are considered as friends of the farmers and are used as a means for pest control.