Ladybugs are small, flying beetles that are members of the Coccinellidae family.
In North America, they are called ladybugs. In other locations English speaking countries, such as Britain, they are commonly called ladybirds.
Entomologists prefer to call ladybugs either lady beetles or ladybird beetles, because ladybugs aren’t true bugs.
Traditionally, when we think of ladybugs, we think of the Coccinella magnifica species, a small beetle with a red shell and black spots. In fact, ladybugs are a large group of small beetles in the Coccinellidae family.
The average lifespan of a ladybug, from egg to adult is one year.
A single ladybug (Coccinella magnifica) can eat around 5,000 aphids in its entire lifetime.
If a ladybug runs out of aphids to eat, they’ll resort to cannibalism and eat their own larva.
The spots on a ladybug signal to predators that they might taste horrible. A ladybug can secrete a fluid that makes them taste awful. If that doesn’t work, they can also pretend to be dead.
Most ladybug species are considered useful insects. They prey on pests that damage crops, like aphids and scale insects.
The Asian ladybeetle (Harmonia axyridis) was introduced in North America to help control aphids. They compete with other native ladybugs for aphids and have put stress on native North American species.