I can’t help myself but to forever photograph the ladybugs of Sequoia National Forest!
The scientific name for ladybug is Coccinellidae. Sounds romantic, eh?
Ladybugs are truly beautiful, beneficial, and deserving of some major praise as we polish up the house, shake out our rugs, and open our hearts to spring. Okay, I can’t promise that I am going to get the windows washed anytime soon, but I can say that I might just be forgiven if I am caught bumbling around in the forest with a camera looking for more of these beauties!
My 5 year old loves ladybugs, as so many kids do, and we adults could spare a few moments to give a nod, and learn a bit about these lovelies as well. Here are some fabulous ladybug facts for all of us insect-lovers! At the bottom of the page are links to my sources as well as links to some fun ladybug crafts and coloring pages for the kids. I hope you enjoy this as much as we do and thanks for reading on!
1. There are about 5,000 different species of ladybugs in the world.
2. Ladybugs can have spots, stripes, or no markings at all, and come in many different colors. The most familiar ladybug in North America is the seven-spotted ladybug. They have 6 short legs.
3. Ladybugs breathe through openings on the sides of their bodies.
4. The seven-spotted lady bug is native to Europe. They were brought to North America in the mid-1900’s to control aphid populations.
5. Ladybugs are also called “lady beetles” or “ladybird beetles”. They get their name from European farmers who prayed to the Virgin Mary when pests ate their crops. The ladybugs came to the rescue, and the farmers called them “beetle of our Lady” which became shortened to lady beetle or ladybug.
6. Ladybugs (and aphids) were studied by NASA up in space (1999)!
7. A ladybug can retract its head into it’s body.
8. One ladybug can eat up to 5,000 insects in its lifetime. They eat aphids and other plant-eating pests. Farmers and gardeners love them!
9. In many cultures ladybugs are considered good luck.
10. A ladybug’s bright coloring tells predators that they will taste terrible. When threatened, ladybugs secrete an oily, yucky-tasking fluid from their leg joints.
11. Birds are the main predators of ladybugs, but frogs, wasps, spiders and dragonflies like to eat them too.
12. There are both male and female ladybugs and it’s almost impossible to tell them apart without a microscope, except that females are usually larger.
13. According to Alive and The Sierra Club, pesticides and GMO’s are threatening ladybugs.
14. Ladybugs are most active from spring to fall. When it gets cold, they hibernate.
15. The ladybug is the official state insect of Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio and Tennessee!
Thanks for reading and happy spring to all!
Click here for a cute ladybug terra cotta wind chime craft!
Click here for free printable insect coloring pages!