Ladybug

Last updated: August 8, 2021
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!



Ladybug Scientific Classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Arthropoda
Class
Insecta
Order
Coleoptera
Family
Coccinellidae

Ladybug Conservation Status


Ladybug Facts

Main Prey
Aphids, Greenfly, Small Insects
Fun Fact
There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!
Habitat
Woodland, hedgerows and meadows
Predators
Birds, Rodents, Reptiles, Insects
Diet
Carnivore
Average Litter Size
2,000
Favorite Food
Aphids
Common Name
Ladybird
Number Of Species
5000
Location
Worldwide

Ladybug Physical Characteristics

Colour
  • Brown
  • Yellow
  • Red
  • Black
  • White
  • Orange
Skin Type
Shell

Ladybug Images

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The typical description of the ladybug discusses the red shell and black spots, but there are many different patterns. In fact, the number of spots can even differentiate between the many species around today. They have a rather resilient body, ensuring that they can live in many different environments in North America and Europe.

5 Incredible Ladybug Facts!

  • The average lifespan of a ladybug is just 2-3 years.
  • Their scientific name comes from a Latin word that means “scarlet.”
  • These insects sometimes go by the name “ladybird,” which came from Britain’s description of it – “Our Lady’s bird.”
  • The colorful beetles were not introduced to North America until the mid-1900s as a way to control the growing population of aphids.
  • While they are incredibly helpful to the elimination of pests in gardens, an infestation of ladybugs on a farm can be harmful to crops.

Ladybug Species, Types, and Scientific Name

The scientific name for the ladybug is Coccinellidae, and their classification places them in the invertebrate category. Coccinellidae comes from a Latin word “coccineus,” which means scarlet – a clear tribute to the color of their exoskeleton. It is sometimes called a ladybird, which comes from a British expression for the insect. Many people took to calling the insect “Our Lady’s bird.”

Though most people are familiar with the typical red body and black spots, the ladybug is actually a category of over 5,0000 different species. The species come in many different colors and markings, including combinations of red, black, brown, yellow, white, and neutral shades. They are primarily divided into the following categories:

  • The seven-spotted ladybird
  • The thirteen-spotted ladybird
  • The Asian ladybird
  • The Coleomegilla maculate ladybird
  • The Hippodamia convergens ladybug

Appearance: How to Identify Ladybugs

When you imagine the appearance of a ladybug, colors like red and black typically come to mind. In fact, this traditional idea makes the ladybug (or ladybird) one of the most easily recognizable insects in the world. However, this description doesn’t come close to covering the 5,000 species that are out there today.

While every ladybug has an oval shell, six legs, and the cutest cheeks of any insect, they also are found in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Most of these insects are just a centimeter long, but they can be as small as 1 mm. Along with the traditional red shell and black dots, other species include:

  • Yellow shell with black dots (Psyllobora vigintiduopunc)
  • Brown shell with cream-colored dots (Myrrha)
  • Black shell with four red dogs (Scymnus)
  • Pale yellow shell with small black dots (Adalia decempuncta)
  • Red shell with one spot on either side (Two-spot ladybird)

Along their legs, their joints are specially designed to release a toxic fluid that can protect them from predators. Sometimes, they’ll even bite if they are threatened.


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While it is easy to find one or two ladybugs, they typically are found in a group, which is called a loveliness. Part of the reason that these insects swarm together is to reproduce quickly and deal with limited food supplies during winter. Approximately half of this population is made of females, and they choose a mate while they are in their large group.

Beautiful yellow ladybug on a leaf.
Beautiful yellow ladybug on a leaf.

Habitat: Where to Find Ladybugs

Ladybugs can be found around the world, but they tend to live in Europe and North America. They were not introduced to North America until the middle of the 1990s, used to help with the aphid problems that were plaguing the entire region at the time. Since then, ladybugs seem to have found a place that they are happy to stay in. Of the 5,000+ species, the United States is specifically home to over 500 variations.

The flexibility of the ladybug in different habitats is what allows it to thrive. Just as easily as they will live in grasslands and forests, they’ll also collect in cities and suburbs. Some swarms can even be found along rivers. When they are ready to lay eggs, they will simply leave their larvae on the underside of a leaf.

As recently as 2018, scientists grew concerned over the dwindling population of certain insect species, considering the major impact that they have on the world’s ecosystems. Some of the reasons for the decline can be credited to the use of insecticides, pollution, and climate change. However, the resilience for many different habitats is part of the reason that there are still millions of these beetles found worldwide.

Diet: What Do Ladybugs Eat?

Ladybugs are omnivores, consuming both plants and other animals as their main source of nutrients. Primarily, they prefer to consume leaves, fungus, and other insects. Sometimes, they’ll even dine on mushrooms and mildew, but their primary diet is made of aphids. In fact, the ladybug consumes up to 50 aphids a day.

What eats ladybugs?

Ladybugs are consumed by birds, but that’s hardly their only predator. They also are eaten as a part of the diet of frogs, wasps, spiders, and dragonflies. While they have many defenses against other animals, they are still rather small animals that cannot fight back as strongly as others.

What does a ladybug eat?

While the ladybug will consume some types of plants, their diet primarily consists of other insects (especially aphids). They’ll go after scales, mealy bugs, mites, leafhoppers, and other insects that are smaller than them. They will also eat the larvae of other insects.

Prevention: How to Get Rid of Ladybugs

Though the ladybug is mostly not harmful, having any beetles or insects in a home can be unsettling. They are safe to keep in a garden, but large infestations can damage a farm. If there is just a small group of ladybugs, sweeping or vacuuming them up is relatively safe. However, a massive infestation may need to be sprayed with soapy water. It is also safe to leave a bowl of soapy water where they collect.

While some people swear by the use of Diatomaceous Earth to clear out a colony, there are also many homemade traps that can work. Small LED lights can be set up in an area to attract the beetles into a funnel or box before they are moved somewhere safer.

Anyone with a green thumb and a disdain for ladybugs can plant mums around their home or porch. Apparently, as resilient as the beetles are, they absolutely hate the smell of these flowers, and they’ll likely choose a home without them instead. Natural repellants like lavender oil and citronella candles can also keep this insect and others away.

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Ladybug FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Are Ladybugs herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?

Ladybugs are Carnivores, meaning they eat other animals.

What Kingdom do Ladybugs belong to?

Ladybugs belong to the Kingdom Animalia.

What phylum do Ladybugs belong to?

Ladybugs belong to the phylum Arthropoda.

What class do Ladybugs belong to?

Ladybugs belong to the class Insecta.

What family do Ladybugs belong to?

Ladybugs belong to the family Coccinellidae.

What order do Ladybugs belong to?

Ladybugs belong to the order Coleoptera.

What type of covering do Ladybugs have?

Ladybugs are covered in Shells.

Where do Ladybugs live?

Ladybugs are found worldwide.

In what type of habitat do Ladybugs live?

Ladybugs live in woodlands, hedgerows, and meadows.

What is the main prey for Ladybugs?

Ladybugs prey on aphids, greenflies, and small insects.

What are some predators of Ladybugs?

Predators of Ladybugs include birds, rodents, reptiles, and insects.

What is the average litter size for a Ladybug?

The average litter size for a Ladybug is 2,000.

What is an interesting fact about Ladybugs?

There are more than 5,000 Ladybug species worldwide!

How many species of Ladybug are there?

There are 5,000 species of Ladybug.

Are ladybugs dangerous?

Not exactly. These beetles can sometimes secret fluid from the joints on their legs, which they typically release when threatened. The fluid can be toxic to predators, and it emits a bad odor. They are capable of biting humans, but it is not common.

How many legs does a ladybug have?

Ladybugs have six legs, paired with dome-shaped bodies.

How do you identify a ladybug?

The markings and size of the ladybug will determine its classification. They are smaller and rounder than beetles and they often have a black head with small “cheeks.” The colors in the pattern determine the species.

How do you get rid of ladybugs?

If there are many ladybugs collecting in a group, they can be swept up and moved outside. Diatomaceous Earth is a reliable and natural way to eliminate them, though some people plant Mums around their home as a protective layer.

What is special about ladybugs?

Having a ladybug around the home is considered to be a good luck charm in some cultures.

What is bad about ladybugs?

These beetles can be toxic to animals and can ruin farmland.

Is it OK to have ladybugs in your house?

Ladybugs, which sometimes go by the name lady beetles, won’t harm a home. At the most, they’ll go after aphids, rather than fabric or wood. Some people are not bothered by the presence of ladybugs, so it is all a matter of preference.

What do ladybugs kill?

These beetles tend to go after aphids, the larvae of other beetles, worms, mites, mealybugs, whiteflies, and other insects.

Is a ladybug an arthropod?

Yes. The scientific name of the phylum classification is Arthropoda, which is larger than any other phyla.

What is a ladybug classified as?

A ladybug falls under the insect classification.

Sources
  1. National Geographic, Available here: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/facts/ladybugs
  2. Home Stratosphere, Available here: https://www.homestratosphere.com/types-of-ladybugs/
  3. SAC Nature Centre, Available here: https://www.sacnaturecenter.net/visit-us/nature-blog/news.html?NewsID=67220
  4. Better Homes & Gardens, Available here: https://www.bhg.com/gardening/pests/animal/ladybug-asian-beetle-difference/
  5. National Geographic Kids, Available here: https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/facts/ladybug
  6. Nature Mapping Program, Available here: http://naturemappingfoundation.org/natmap/facts/ladybug_712.html
  7. May Exterminating, Available here: https://www.mayexterminating.com/9-surprising-facts-about-ladybugs/

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