Ladybug Facts for Kids
When you picture a ladybug, you probably picture a tiny red insect with black dots on its back. You may not think of a beetle at first, but did you know that ladybugs belong to the beetle family? If you didn’t know that, don’t worry! We’ve got lots more interesting facts about ladybugs for you in this guide.
Ladybugs are fascinating insects that have a significant role to play in the food chain, and in this article, we’re going to tell you all about them! From how they got their names to why they lay extra eggs, make sure you read until the end to learn more about them.
Let’s take a closer look.
12 Fun Ladybug Facts for Kids
Ladybugs get their name from Mother Mary.
Even though ladybugs are both male and female, they are called “ladies” because they were named after Mother Mary! In early paintings of the Virgin Mary, artists often painted her wearing a red cloak. Additionally, ladybugs in Europe had only seven spots on their backs, which many people thought represented the seven sorrows and joys. Therefore, these tiny creatures got their name from a prolific religious figure!
Not all ladybugs are red
Red ladybugs are some of the most commonly found versions of the insect, but scientists have found ladybugs in various colors and sizes. The ladybug species named Brumoides suturalis, or the three-striped lady beetle, has black and brown vertical stripes that run the length of its body. Another species called the Vibidia duodecimguttata has a brown body with white spots. Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata has a bright yellow body with black spots all over it.
Ladybugs are an essential part of culture and storytelling.
One of the nicest things about ladybugs is that they have played an essential role in children’s stories for a few centuries. For example, in the nursery rhyme Ladybird Ladybird, the ladybug survives alone in the world after her family flies away. This rhyme has many variations and has been translated into several languages. In addition to the rhyme, the ladybug has also played an important role in different cultures around the world. For instance, in Dutch culture, the ladybug is referred to as the ‘little animal of our Good Lord’ and has also been called a ‘little Messiah.’
Ladybugs are not poisonous.
Contrary to popular belief, ladybugs aren’t poisonous creatures. A common misconception about any creature is that the more colorful it is, the more poisonous it is. However, this belief is sometimes wrong, as with ladybugs. These creatures are not toxic, which means that if a ladybug lands on your hand, it won’t bite you and fill your bloodstream with poisonous chemicals. Still, it’s important to note that ladybugs can be harmful to your pet dogs and cats, so make sure you keep an eye on them to ensure that they don’t eat these insects.
Ladybugs migrate indoors when the weather gets cold.
While ladybugs are not harmful to humans, they can become annoying if they enter your home. They enter people’s homes because a house or apartment provides the ladybugs much more warmth and shelter than a tree’s hollow. They tend to hide inside gaps or cracks in walls and other small spaces. If you find that there are too many ladybugs in your home, it would be best if you gently vacuumed them out or hired a pest control company to take care of the infestation.
Ladybugs are predators.
Even though ladybugs are tiny creatures, their size shouldn’t surprise you regarding their predatory behavior! Farmers often welcome ladybugs because they eat aphids, mites, whiteflies, and various other insects that eat plants. In addition to plant-eating insects, ladybugs occasionally eat nectar and fungus. They are hungry creatures that generally eat around 5,000 insects in their lifetime!
Ladybugs have several physical defenses.
When a predator threatens a ladybug, it defends itself in many ways. If it gets scared, it will release bad-smelling hemolymph from the joints in its legs. Hemolymph is a fluid that circulates in the body of a ladybug and other creatures. It tastes and smells terrible and generally leaves behind a bright yellow stain. Predators are often repulsed by hemolymph’s smell and look.
Farmers use ladybugs for pest control.
Since ladybugs are predatory creatures that eat insects and aphids smaller than themselves, farmers and gardeners often let ladybugs live freely in their gardens. This is because ladybugs eat the insects that destroy plants. They also help preserve crops from dying! Back in the 1880s, a species of ladybugs from Australia were sent to California in the hopes that they would help control the spread of the cottony cushion scale, which was a tree virus affecting crops. After a long time had passed, the ladybugs helped control the tree virus spread, and the state’s crops improved.
Ladybugs have a short lifespan.
Unlike other insects that survive for a few years, ladybugs rarely survive for longer than a single year. After a pair of ladybugs mate and conceive, the female ladybug will lay a set of yellow eggs. Ladybugs can lay several eggs, ranging from five to 50. After laying the eggs, the larvae generally take around five to ten days to hatch, after which they spend a few weeks eating and building their strength. Once the ladybugs have enough strength, they generally build a pupa, hibernate, and emerge as fully developed adult ladybugs. They will then live in the wild for a year and then die.
Also Read: 13 Interesting Facts About Winter For Kids
Ladybugs often lay extra eggs for their young.
When ladybugs lay their eggs, they sometimes lay a few extra infertile eggs. They do this because their newly hatched babies need an additional food source. Therefore, the newly hatched young eat the infertile eggs if their food supply is scarce and they need nourishment to survive. It’s important to remember that in some cases, ladybugs lay more infertile than fertile eggs. They usually do this because there is food scarcity, and a larger number of baby ladybugs will not survive, so the young ladybugs will have a source of food when insects aren’t available.
Ladybugs sometimes eat each other.
Ladybugs sometimes take part in cannibalism when there is food scarcity among them. Since ladybugs mostly eat aphids, the aphid population often decreases, and the ladybugs are left trying to find a new source of food. Therefore, they will sometimes eat each other, primarily when a newly formed adult ladybug or half-developed larvae are formed.
Ladybugs have hidden wings.
An exciting thing about ladybugs is that they have hidden wings! Even though their round bodies make them look like they cannot fly very well, these creatures have a set of wings that are cleverly tucked under the protective exterior of their bodies. When a ladybug is ready to fly, it will lift its red exoskeleton to reveal its thin and slender wings and fly. Their wings help them escape predators and fly away from danger.
Ladybugs are some of the friendliest insects that nature has to offer us, as long as we leave them alone and don’t scare them! In this guide, we walked you through a list of 12 interesting facts about ladybugs that you might not have known about before. These little creatures are small but mighty, given that they’ve been able to get rid of tree viruses singlehandedly. Don’t forget to keep reading more about ladybugs and other insects to increase your knowledge.