Ladybugs

By: Amanda, junior member of the Central Carolina Chrysanthemum Society

WHAT IS A LADYBUG ?

They are from the beetle family. Some even call them lady beetles. They have a hard pair of forewings that protects the delicate hind wings that are folded underneath.

HOW DOES A LADY LOOK ?

They are round, less than ½ an inch long. Many are orange or red with black spots on the forewings. But some are black with yellow or red spots.

HOW MANY KINDS OF LADYBUGS ARE THERE ?

There are over 400 species in North America.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THEIR NAMES ?

There is the two-spotted, nine-spotted and fifteen-spotted, striped, three-banded, parenthesis ladybug and the mealybug destroyer.

WHAT DO LADYBUGS EAT ?

Their favorite foods are aphids, mealybugs, scale insects and mites.

WHAT IS THE LIFE CYCLE OF A LADYBUG ?

There are four (4) stages.

Stage 1 – the eggs which are laid near aphids

Stage 2 – the larva which feeds for several months on the aphids.

Stage 3 – the pupa stage which they are inactive at this time.

Stage 4 – they become adult ladybugs.

WHO ARE THE LADYBUG’S ENEMIES ?

Anything that eats insects, like a spiders, praying mantis and birds. But, some ladybugs taste yucky and never get eaten again by the critter that ate her.

 DO LADYBUGS HIBERNATE ?

Most live only for one season. But, some hibernate under logs, tree bark or in a house until the next spring.

CAN LADYBUGS SWIM ?

Yes, they float on water and paddle about too!

A LADYBUG GAME, ANYONE ?

Try one of these. You will need ladybugs, stopwatch, piece of paper or use the sidewalk and some chalk.

1. Draw a line on the ground, place a ladybug at the line and see how far it travels in one minute.

2. Draw a straight line and see if a ladybug can walk straight. Follow behind with a chalk line.

3. How far can a ladybug fly?