Ladybug (lat. Coccinellidae) belongs to the beetle family, arthropod type, class of insects.
At the sight of an insect, a man involuntarily reacts – it is more likely to slam it, but the ladybug is sympathetic to almost everyone, even women. Some recall a children’s song associated with it, while others recall that it helps them very much in the countryside – saves the garden from pests. What is the secret of everyone’s sympathy for this bug? In some cultures, it is forbidden to kill a ladybug, and in the western part, it is generally considered a symbol of luck. In many countries, it is even listed on the Red List.
What does a ladybug look like?
Today, the planet has studied no more than 200 insect formations, the number of species is infinite. Ladybug – a member of the family Coccinellidae, has more than 4000 types and 360 genera, belongs to the group of hard-winged arthropods. Distinctive features from the other congeners are the seemingly three-part legs. This is because of the small third member, which is visually hidden with half a fourth leg in the sinus of the appendage.
The size of the ladybug is on average from 4 mm to 10 mm. The body structure is rounded, ovoid, flattened at the bottom, and convex at the top. Sometimes the surface is covered with thin lints. It consists of the head, prongs, chest, which is divided into three parts: legs; abdomen; wings.
The head connects monolithically with the fore chest, looking like an enlarged chest. It is the main part of the length of the body, sometimes found in elongated-oval shape. The eyes are of relatively large size. Well flexible tendrils, consisting of 8-11 members.
Ladybug has rigid expressive elytra. In fact, these are the front flying organs. Over time, the wings of the ladybug have been transformed. On the ground, they perform a protective function. With the help of two posterior spurs it flies, it turns out quite well. Interestingly, different birds and many vertebrates do not dare to hunt it, not only because of the poison. They do not have time to catch it, because the insect makes about 85 sweeps per second.
Bright warning coloring of ladybug
The ladybug has a bright color, which helps in the struggle for existence and brings fear to the enemies, most often birds. This is one example of mimicry, like the green color of grasshoppers, or the ability of chameleon to merge with the environment for self-preservation.
Sparkling colors for the natural wild world serve as warning signals about the toxicity and incredibleness of the observed victim. There is a theory that the brighter the beetle’s color, the less likely it is to be attacked by enemies. The expressive color of different types of ladybugs indicates a deadly danger. It may fade with age.
Where do ladybugs live?
Ladybugs live practically all over the world, except for northern latitudes. Their life cycle depends on the availability of food. The active stage falls on the time of aphids extermination, the main diet of these insects, i.e. from spring to autumn. They live from a couple of months to one year, sometimes last up to two. They can survive the winter in the foliage or under the bark of trees.
They accept a single way of life, live in groups for the winter, or mating. They feel comfortable in open areas with grassy vegetation on the edges of forests, steppes, meadows, and gardens. In search of food crawl on plants, periodically flying to long distances. They do it easily, quietly, working all day, destroying pests. The ladybugs are thermophilic, the optimal temperature for them is +10 C and above, in other periods is in the winter.
How and where do ladybugs spend the winter?
Sedentary species of ladybugs gather in large groups sometimes up to millions of individuals when cold weather strikes. In winter, they look for a secluded spot, hiding under the remains of foliage, dry wood, and stones, where they wait for the arrival of heat. They can fly into rooms, hide between window frames, fold curtains, and make nests among trees. There are species of beetles flying in flocks to winter in southern latitudes. Recently, the features of adaptation to the habitat has become not only a bright color or toxic liquid released at risk. Their group accumulations are observed more and more. This is still inexplicable, but the spectacle is colorful.