|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.
ladybug are found worldwide, with over 4,500 species described, more than
450 native to North America alone. ladybug are small insects, ranging from
1 mm to 10 mm, 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.
ladybug 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.
Adult ladybug are able to reflex-bleed from their leg joints. The blood is yellow, with a strong repellent smell, and is quite obvious when one handles a ladybird roughly.
The ladybug is the symbol of the Dutch Foundation Against Senseless Violence.
Notable species: (note, not all individuals show the number of spots suggested by their names)
* Seven-spotted lady beetle (Coccinella septempunctata)