Ladybugs

Ladybugs

Also known as lady beetles and ladybirds, these adorable insects appeal to humans. While the typically red color is designed to trick the ladybug’s predator into thinking it doesn’t taste good, that same lovely shade, usually marked with spots, draws our eye and makes us think good, fun things. I can recall happily playing with ladybugs as a child, while most other insects made me run away. If you find a ladybug without spots, that usually means it’s reaching the end of its life cycle. Spots fade with age. 

Ladybugs overwinter and search out warm places where they huddle together. It’s called aggregating. Here’s a 3-minute video showing thousands of them in the snow. Here is an excellent 2-minute video on the life-cycle of the ladybug. Have you ever wondered what a ladybug’s wings look like or how they fly? Check out this short, slow-mo video.

FunFacts about Ladybugs: (Source)  

  • Basic Info: Coccinellidae is a widespread family of small beetles ranging in size from 0.8 to 18 mm (0.03 to 0.71 inches). The family is commonly known as ladybugs in North America, and ladybirds in Britain and other parts of the English-speaking world. Entomologists widely prefer the names ladybird beetles or lady beetles as these insects are not classified as true bugs. (Source)
  • Most ladybug species are considered helpful insects since they prey on smaller insects that tend to do damage to agriculture.
  • Some ladybug species lay their eggs directly on a colony of aphid or scale insects to ensure their larvae have a ready food supply.
  • The species name, quote: The name coccinellids is derived from the Latin word coccineus meaning “scarlet”. (Source)
  • The origin of ‘lady’ beetles or bugs is very interesting and has a religious beginning. Mary, the mother of Christ, was often represented with a red cloak with seven black spots referring to her seven joys and seven sorrows. It wasn’t long before the beetle became known as a Lady beetle, since ‘Our Lady’ referred to Mary.
  • There are over 6000 species of ladybugs. Their coloration varies from red, yellow, orange to even brown with white spots. Most of the time they have spots. But they can also have stripes and squiggles.
  • Ladybugs are found the world over.
  • To see a variety of ladybugs, go here, then scroll just a bit.
  • Some of the larger species prey on caterpillars and other beetle larvae.
  • Some species lay both fertile and infertile eggs. The infertile eggs then become food, as needed, for the young larvae.
  • Ladybugs are preyed on by birds, wasps, frogs, dragonflies and spiders.
  • Ladybugs hibernate like bears. They gather together in large numbers to overwinter. They can even swarm into a house looking for a cozy place to curl up during the cold winter months.
  • Too many ladybugs during a wine harvest can cause a ‘lady bird taint’.
  • In the Netherlands, street tiles featuring ladybugs are often placed in locations where violent crimes have been committed.
  • An adult ladybug can lay up to 2000 eggs during her lifetime.
  • The average lifespan of a ladybug is two years.

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(Photos from Pixabay) 

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To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about ladybugs. Have you been charmed with them, like me, since childhood? Have you ever purchased them to spread around your garden? Which photo did you like best? Feel free to share whatever comes to mind and share from the heart.

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50 thoughts on “Ladybugs

  1. I’m always happy to see ladybugs in my garden! I had no idea that their spots fade with age; I don’t think I’ve ever noticed a ladybug without spots. I’ll probably be looking at them much more closely in the future.

  2. I love ladybugs. During the cold winters in Ohio they must of hibernated in my house because every spring there would of been like 30 or more in my kitchen. Since moving to TN, I haven’t seen as many but everyone here will tell me that they bite. I never had one bite me when it landed on me, but my husband had one bite him and a friend of ours did too.

  3. Another inspired blog! I love the first picture with the ladybug hanging out on a blade of grass.

    Drea – South-central Arizona

  4. I love ladybugs. I was the same way as a child – loved to play with ladybugs but ran from all other insects. At one time I had caught eight in one day and then let them go after a few hours. They are so pretty.

  5. Here in Indy we seem to be the new home to beige beetles (some call them Asian beetles) that look remarkably like the lady beetles. We see them especially in the autumn as they are looking for a good winter home. I have read that they only bite to explore their surroundings and it is not intended to be retaliatory. Interesting little creatures.

  6. As a child, walking to school, there was a bush which had so many ladybugs. We stopped everyday to watch them.

  7. I love ladybugs. My granddaughter is passionate about them and we have bought her many ladybug-themed gifts over the years. I am going to forward this to her to enjoy. My son lives in a mountainous area of North Carolina, and the inside of his windows house some ladybugs over the winter. They just smile and welcome them. Here in Florida, we don’t often see them but when we do, we put them on the hibiscus to munch on the aphids. Thanks so much for sharing this terrific article.

  8. Ladybugs have always been adorable to me. The past couple of years we have seen more in the house then usual. I would really really take them anytime over spiders!!! I have never seen that many together before as in the video. I also didn’t know they lost their spots as they age.( If only we were that way lol). Just joking! Thanks for blog. Very informative and interesting.

  9. I like to see ladybugs in my garden because I know they are eating other harmful bugs. The red color is very attractive. Kids love them.

  10. I adore my ladybirds, they eat aphids on my roses very happily! Hate using pest sprays. So wanna know wot happened I had a huge scale invasion on my orchids, looked and looked and sang the lady bird song but they have deserted me in my orchids dire need! I loathe pest sprays but had to use one.
    Oh ladybird, ladybird where are you now, ladybird, oh ladybird where are you. Why do you hide? Ladybird ladybird I need you now!

  11. I love lady bugs as a child my grandma told me that they were acuattly fairys and that they took care of the forest and her garden I will always have a special place in my heart for them

    • Tiffany,
      Thanks for sharing such a sweet memory. I also think the idea isn’t too far off since they eat aphids!

      Caris
      Buckeye Arizona USA

  12. I love ladybugs. They are prevalent where I grew up. That was my friends daughters’ nickname before she passed. So seeing them always reminds me of her. She was a strong little girl. Ladybugs always always make me smile.

  13. I love seeing scads of lady bugs through out my gardens.

    Although our house is darn near hermetically sealed we still get way too many inside the house when Sping arrives.

    The only thing we can figure is that are coming down the chimney like Santa Claus.

    I’m always careful if I have to use an insecticide. Earwhigs!!!!
    I just spot spray so the beneficial insects aren’t harmed.

    Oh, I put out a lovely Chablis for the deer to enjoy with their daylily feast last night whilst in the middle of my garden out front.

    They left “droppings” which I found this a.m., must be their way of saying thank you.

    • Sandra,
      You’re very gracious since my guess is you didn’t have many daylillies left after their visit!

      Caris
      Buckeye Arizona USA

  14. I just love ladybugs and always have. Used to love putting one in my hand and letting it walk all over. I think they are one of the most loved bugs around besides praying mantis. 🙂 Didn’t realize they came in so many different colors and I’ve only seen the red with black dots. They have a short life span too. Watched the videos and the slow motion one with it opening it’s wings was really fascinating. AZ

  15. I love Ladybugs. I collect them. Although I only have two so far. It’s hard to find Ladybugs in stores tobuy and collect them.

  16. Interesting about the origin of the markings. I would tote them out of the house. Now we have some orange ones that bite and stink when crushed. I get rid of those as they make the cats sick when eaten and naturally some of the kitties won’t leave them alone.
    Enterprise, AL

  17. Ladybugs are adorable! I don’t like finding them in my house but they are sweet and great for children – especially in a book or on things they play with. The simple colors make them ideal for getting children interested in bugs and nature.

  18. I was lucky enough to witness a ‘plague’ of Ladybugs when i was about 7 years old. it was a Summer’s day and we went to a seaside town. There were so many Ladybugs we couldn’t even see the road or the pavement to walk on. I didn’t want to step on them so my Dad had to carry me on his shoulders. I remember them being on my head and in my hair but not being afraid because I loved Ladybugs. I’ve never seen anything like it since.

  19. I love ladybugs since, if I see them on my roses, it means they’re taking care of any aphids attacking the plants! They are a wonderful sight.

  20. Ladybugs have always made me smile, why I could not tell ya, lol. My favorite photo from a ove is the one with the lady ugly on the leaf looking down towards the ground. I even have a ladybug tattoo on my wrist.

    Peggy from Nebraska.

  21. I used to live near a ton of potato fields and we had tons of ladybugs. I used to think they were so pretty until I got sick and tired of seeing them in everything.

  22. We always loved to see ladybugs. We thought they were the royalty of the insect world. However I did always wonder what the males thought of being called “Ladies”.

  23. I’m just like the others. Ladybugs are cute. There is a local scooter rider who has a red scooter and helmet with black dots. Very fun.

  24. What a unique little creature!!! Wonder how God thought up the ladybug? Red with black dots? WOW!!!! Makes ya wonder????LOL

  25. I have enjoyed the ladybug photos especially the one on the blue flowers. When I waa a child ladybugs were great prizes to find, and I spent a lot of time liiking for them. Haven”r seen to many in the last years. Thanks for the memories. Lynn C.

  26. I love the ladybugs. Your photos are beautiful. Those were very interesting facts that I don’t ever remember hearing. I live in Louisville, KY. When I was a child it seems there were more ladybugs than now. I guess pesticides have taken their toll – like with butterflies and bees. It’s a shame. Thanks for sharing. I’ll be back for more. Lisa

  27. I am like most of these comments, I too enjoy watching ladybugs. When I see them crawling on the ground I pick them up and put them on a plant.
    Elk Grove, Renee C

  28. I collect ladybug items over many years – pictures, handbag, bookmark, hand painted stones on driftwood, mug, and jeweled pin. I love to see ladybugs on my flowers or bushes. My grandmother told me that ladybugs bring good luck. I think of her when I see one.

    Palm Harbor, Florida

  29. I didn’t know anything about Ladybugs. But now I do, after watching the videos, it was very interesting! I wasn’t interested in insect when I was little girl. I enjoyed the pic’s, my favorite pic was the one with the little blue flowers! I have to say you are very talented. the bracelets you make are quite beautiful!

  30. Ladybugs in the house are probably the only bug that I will catch and release back outside. The others get the old funeral in the toilet.

  31. My preschoolers are learning about insects this week, so this post is good timing as far as I’m concerned. Now I have lots of cool little facts to tell them about lady bugs. Thanks co-teacher 😉 LOL!

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