Facts about ladybirds
- There are about 500 different kinds in the United States and nearly 5000 world wide.
- Most Ladybirds are carnivorous on the larva Aphids (Hemiptera, Homoptera, Aphididae) both as adults and as larvae ladybugs won’t fly when the temperature is 55E Fahrenheit or lower.
- It is thought that ladybugs probably do taste bad to predators, and that they may even produce a foul-smelling odor from a fluid from joints in their legs.
- When threatened, ladybugs “play dead.” Many predators will not eat an insect that does not move, so this is another way that the ladybug protects itself from danger.
- Ladybugs generally complete their life cycle within one year.
- The most common American ladybird has seven spots
- Ladybirds are named after the Virgin Mary. ‘Our Lady’, who wore a red cloak in old paintings. The 7 spots are supposed to remind us of the 7 joys and the 7 sorrows. During the Middle Ages, swarms of pests were destroying crops, so farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, for help. Soon after, ladybugs came and ate the bad pests and saved the crops. The farmers called these bugs, “Beetles of Our Lady” and they eventually became known as “ladybugs”.
- Their red backs are really wing cases, which protect the delicate wings, folded up beneath them.
- The female ladybug eats much more than the male
- The Asian Ladybeetle: adults average about 3/8 of an inch in length and about 1/4-inch in width. The spots are usually small, and an individual can have anywhere from eighteen spots to no spots at all. An adult multicolored Asian lady beetle can live for 2 to 3 years.
- Ladybirds are sometimes known as the Halloween Ladybug.
- An adult is capable of consuming as many as 270 aphids per day, and a single larva can consume between 600 and 1,200 aphids during its development.
- In many countries, ladybugs are considered to be good luck.
- The Ladybug is the state insect for Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, Tennessee, and Delaware.