Ladybugs are usually no bigger than 1/4 inch, and some can be really tiny!
There are many different species, ranging in size from 4 to 18 millimeters.
Did you know that the male ladybug is smaller than the female?
Most ladybugs are predators, but a few species are herbivores (plant eaters). Predatory ladybugs are often used in pest control to maintain crops, while some plant eaters can be pests themselves. Ladybugs generally feed on aphids, scale insects, mealybugs, spider mites, and other harmful plant pests.
The female ladybug eats much more than the male, which is not surprising since she is larger in size. She may eat up to 75 aphids a day, while the male only eats up to 40. One larva may eat up to 350 aphids during its life span!
Color, Taste, and Playing Dead!
Where Do Ladybugs Live?
Ladybugs are all around us! Ladybugs can be found in trees, shrubs, fields, beaches, and even houses!!! Inside houses, ladybugs are often found on windows, light fixtures and ceilings. Where have you seen ladybugs?
This page was last updated on: January 6, 2005
Ladybugs are usually red, orange, or black in color. These colors are means of protection. Birds know that insects that are red and black or yellow and black usually sting or taste bad. We know that ladybugs cannot sting, but the birds do not.
It is thought that ladybugs probably do taste bad to predators, and that they may even produce a foul-smelling odor from a fluid from joints in their legs.
When threatened, ladybugs "play dead." Many predators will not eat an insect that does not move, so this is another way that the ladybug protects itself from danger.
How Many Kinds Are There?
There are hundreds of different kinds all over the world. There are about 500 different kinds in the United States and nearly 5000 world wide. They come in all different colors, too. Reds, yellows, orange, grey, black, even blue.
Egg, Larva, Pupa, and Adult. The first three stages vary from 7-21 days each depending on the weather, and food supplies. The adult stage lasts between 3-9 months depending on weather, length of hibernation, food supplies and, of course, predators. Ladybugs generally complete their life cycle within one year.