Ladybird on a leafMid-larva stagePupal stage
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Ladybug

Ladybirds (Commonwealth English), also known as ladybugs (American English, Canadian English) or lady beetles (some scientists favor this) are a family, Coccinellidae ("little sphere"), of beetles; the name is thought to allude to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Catholic faith. more...

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Ladybirds are found worldwide, with over 4,500 species described, more than 450 native to North America alone. Ladybirds are small insects, ranging from 1 mm to 10 mm (0.04 to 0.4 inches), and are usually yellow, orange, or red with small black spots on their carapace, and black legs, head and feelers. As the family name suggests, they are usually quite round in shape. Because they are useful, colorful, and harmless to humans, ladybirds are typically considered cute even by people who hate most insects.

Biology

Ladybirds are brightly colored to ward away potential predators. This defence works because most predators associate bright colors (especially orange and black or yellow and black) with poison and other unpleasant properties. This phenomenon is called aposematism. In fact, most ladybirds are indeed toxic to smaller predators, such as lizards and small birds; however, a human would have to eat several hundred ladybugs before feeling any effects. Adult ladybirds are able to reflex-bleed from their leg joints, releasing their oily yellow toxin with a strong repellent smell. This becomes quite obvious when one handles a ladybird roughly.

The ladybird beetle copulates for up to nine hours at a time, and males may have three 90-minute orgasms in one session. Ladybirds lay eggs which hatch into a larval state. The larvae then go into a pupal stage before becoming an adult ladybird.

Ladybirds lay extra infertile eggs with the fertile eggs. These appear to provide a backup food source for the larvae when they hatch. The ratio of infertile to fertile eggs increases as with scarcity of food at the time of egg laying. (Perry & Roitberg, 2005)

Commercial usage

Ladybirds are beneficial to organic gardeners because most species are insectivores, consuming aphids, fruit flies, thrips, and other tiny plant-sucking insects that damage crops. In fact, their name is derived from "Beetle of Our Lady", recognizing their role in saving crops from destruction. Today they are commercially available from a variety of suppliers.

In agriculture, ladybirds, like other beetles, can find protection in beetle banks.

Culture

Ladybirds are and have for very many years been favourite insects of children, who are reputed to regard them tenderly. The insects had many regional names (now mostly disused) such as the lady-cow, May-bug, golden-knop, golden-bugs (Suffolk); and variations on Bishop-Barnaby (Barney, Burney) Barnabee, Burnabee, and the Bishop-that-burneth.

The ladybird is immortalized in the children's nursery rhyme extant:

Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home
Your house is on fire and your children are gone
All except one, and that's Little Anne
For she has crept under the warming pan.

and ancient (recounted in an 1851 publication):

Dowdy-cow, dowdy-cow, ride away heame,
Thy house is burnt, and thy bairns are tean,
And if thou means to save thy bairns
Take thy wings and flee away!

The name which the insect bears in the various languages of Europe is clearly mythic. In this, as in other cases, the Blessed Virgin Mary has supplanted Freya, the fertility goddess of Norse mythology; so that Freyjuhaena and Frouehenge have been changed into Marienvoglein, which corresponds with Our Lady's Bird. There, can, therefore, be little doubt that the esteem with which the lady-bird, or Our Lady's cow, is still regarded, is a relic of ancient beliefs. In parts of Northern Europe, tradition says you get a wish granted if a ladybug lands on you. In Italy it is said by some, that if a Ladybird or Ladybug flies into your bedroom, that it is considered good luck.

The ladybird is the symbol of the Dutch Foundation Against Senseless Violence. you can see the logo here. Other companies using ladybirds as their corporate logo include Ladybird Books (owned by Pearson PLC and the Ladybird range of children's clothing sold by Woolworth's in the UK.

Notable species

Note that not all individuals show the number of spots suggested by their names:

  • Seven-spotted lady beetle, Coccinella septempunctata
  • Two-spotted lady beetle, Adalia bipunctata
  • Convergent lady beetle, Hippodamia convergens
  • Thirteen-spotted lady beetle, Hippodamia tredecimpunctata
  • Spotted lady beetle, Coleomegilla maculata
  • Twice-stabbed lady beetle, Chilocurus stigma
  • Mexican bean beetle, Epilachna varivestis Mulsant
  • Asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis
  • Mealybug Ladybird, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri

For a complete list of genera, see list of Coccinellidae genera.

Read more at Wikipedia.org


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5 Pc Lot ~ Ladybug Butterfly Flowers Mayfair Collection by Jay 1 Large ~ 4 Small5 Pc Lot ~ Ladybug Butterfly Flowers Mayfair Collection by Jay 1 Large ~ 4 Small $52.49 Was:  Previous Price $69.99 Vtech Snap & Surprise Camera & Vtech Count & Hug LadybugVtech Snap & Surprise Camera & Vtech Count & Hug Ladybug $20.00
Red Black Enamel Ladybug Gold tone Rhinestone 18" Chain Necklace 3k 57Red Black Enamel Ladybug Gold tone Rhinestone 18" Chain Necklace 3k 57 $24.99 New 3D Sterling Silver and Enamel Flower Basket with Tiny Lady Bug Pendant CharmNew 3D Sterling Silver and Enamel Flower Basket with Tiny Lady Bug Pendant Charm $30.00
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14K Yellow Gold Enameled Ladybug Pendant with Necklace, 16" Msrp $22314K Yellow Gold Enameled Ladybug Pendant with Necklace, 16" Msrp $223 $78.59 List price:  Previous Price $223.00 Creative Memories Stickers Spring Summer Flowers Iris Daisy Roses Pansy U PickCreative Memories Stickers Spring Summer Flowers Iris Daisy Roses Pansy U Pick $0.99 to $1.79
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Ty Beanies Ladybug Lucky (tag errors) & Maiden (2.0 - 2 tags), Buddy Lucky, MwmtTy Beanies Ladybug Lucky (tag errors) & Maiden (2.0 - 2 tags), Buddy Lucky, Mwmt $45.99 Vintage 60’s Enamel Lady Bug Ladybug Scatter Pin Brooch JewelryVintage 60’s Enamel Lady Bug Ladybug Scatter Pin Brooch Jewelry $11.00
Decorative 4 Piece Tea Set of Khiem Ceramics with Lady BugsDecorative 4 Piece Tea Set of Khiem Ceramics with Lady Bugs $22.00 Adult Ladybug CostumeAdult Ladybug Costume $38.99
baby girl jumper romper onepiece ladybug w/ built in diaper cover size 12 monthsbaby girl jumper romper onepiece ladybug w/ built in diaper cover size 12 months $4.00 Lady Bug Costume Size Medium/Large 10-14Lady Bug Costume Size Medium/Large 10-14 $18.95
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Big Bugs Lover Ladybug Funny Teacher Gift Coffee MugBig Bugs Lover Ladybug Funny Teacher Gift Coffee Mug $13.99 Bird House Wooden Hand Painted "Welcome" Flowers, Ladybugs, Fence 9.5"× 5"Bird House Wooden Hand Painted "Welcome" Flowers, Ladybugs, Fence 9.5"× 5" $13.85 Trending at $19.16
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Vintage 1980s Signed Handmade Sterling & Art Glass Ladybug Whimsical CufflinksVintage 1980s Signed Handmade Sterling & Art Glass Ladybug Whimsical Cufflinks $97.15 Was:  Previous Price $145.00 Carters Child Of Mine Sweet Baby Pink Butterfly Ladybug Plush Baby Girl BlanketCarters Child Of Mine Sweet Baby Pink Butterfly Ladybug Plush Baby Girl Blanket $24.99
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Baby’s Braclet With Ladybugs And StarsBaby’s Braclet With Ladybugs And Stars $12.89 Aria North 40-Piece Lovely Lady Bug Dog Bow Barrettes Canister Grooming SupplyAria North 40-Piece Lovely Lady Bug Dog Bow Barrettes Canister Grooming Supply $31.99
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Original Vestalife Ladybug Speaker Remote Control Fully Tested 1 Yr WarrantyOriginal Vestalife Ladybug Speaker Remote Control Fully Tested 1 Yr Warranty $8.75 Was:  Previous Price $12.50 Sterling Silver Pink Enamel Children's Toddler's Kid's Ladybug Post EarringsSterling Silver Pink Enamel Children's Toddler's Kid's Ladybug Post Earrings $20.55
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Bath Puppets – For Bath Time Fun – Frog - Lady Bug - Elephant - Osfm - NwtBath Puppets – For Bath Time Fun – Frog - Lady Bug - Elephant - Osfm - Nwt $3.00 Lady Bug WatchLady Bug Watch $43.00
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Rupert Stockl Coffee Mug Lady Bugs White Cup Kafer Munchen UniqueRupert Stockl Coffee Mug Lady Bugs White Cup Kafer Munchen Unique $19.99 Leif by SusyBee Cotton Quilt fabric Bty Ladybug Snail Caterpillar Bee Panel BtyLeif by SusyBee Cotton Quilt fabric Bty Ladybug Snail Caterpillar Bee Panel Bty $7.88 Was:  Previous Price $10.50
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925 Sterling Silver Enameled Ladybug Chain Necklace Pendant Charm925 Sterling Silver Enameled Ladybug Chain Necklace Pendant Charm $35.99 List price:  Previous Price $92.28 Sterling Silver Reflection Kids Ladybug Bead Msrp $53Sterling Silver Reflection Kids Ladybug Bead Msrp $53 $21.93 List price:  Previous Price $53.00
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Prices current as of last update, 05/19/19 10:35am.

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