Animals

Enchanting facts about Ladybug

Also known as lady beetles, they belong to the beetle family. There are around 5000 species of ladybug and they are harmless to humans. In fact, they are helpful to gardeners as they prey on garden pests such as aphids. Read further to know more about Lady Bugs.

Not all of them are Black and Red

Although most often you would see a ladybug in a black and red combination, they are also found in exotic combinations such as yellow and black, black and white, or other exotic colours such as dark blue and orange. In terms of patterns, they are usually spotted but are also found with stripes, or checked patterns. Ladybugs living in specific habitats have more complex coloration, and some can transform color through the year.

They eat a lot of pests

Ladybugs are considered to be desirable insects for gardeners as they prey on plant-damaging insects such as aphids. A mature ladybug can eat more than 5,000 aphids in its lifetime. They also consume fruit flies, thrips, and mites; different species of ladybugs have varied food preferences.

Ladybugs live for a year and hibernate in winter

From bright yellow eggs to larvae; as one emerges as an adult, it typically lives for about a year. Ladybugs living in colder climates enter diapause, the insect hibernation. The hibernation lasts as long as nine months when they consume their fat reserves to survive.

Ladybugs have hidden wings

Adult ladybugs have a noticeable shinydome-likeshape, and their forewings are sheltered by an outer shell or elytra. Beneath this outer shell is a pair of thin hind wings that unfold at a speed of 0.1 seconds and are significantly bigger than its body. Once stretched, ladybug wings move at a rate of 85 beats per second!

Ladybug spots serve as are warning sign

The bright colour combinations and spots are not merely for looks but are meant to warn potential predators. They also emit foul-smelling blood from their legs, this fluid is toxic for many small predators such as birds or small mammals. Ladybugs also play dead when they sense a predator approaching, another defense mechanism.

Ladybugs’ population is reducing

Studies have established that the population of native ladybug species inthe United States and Canada is fast declining due to the introduction of non-native species, climate change, diseases, land-use changes, or changesin the availability of prey.

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