- Ladybugs Are a Part of The Coccinellidae Family
- Traits and Habits
- Description of Ladybugs
- Classification of Ladybugs
- The Life Cycle of Ladybugs
- Egg (Embryonic Stage)
- Larva (Larval Stage)
- Pupa (Pupal Stage)
- Adult (Imaginal Stage)
- Special Adaptations and Defenses
- Range and Distribution
- Are Ladybugs Poisonous?
- What Happens If You Eat a Ladybug?
- What Happens If the Ladybug Bites You?
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Ladybugs Are a Part of The Coccinellidae Family
Traits and Habits
Ladybugs Poisonous – Also known as ladybirds, the Ladybugs aren’t a part of any of those families. Instead, they are insects that pertain to the Coleoptera order. They are a part of the Coccinellidae family as well, regardless of how you are naming them.
Description of Ladybugs
A thing to note about Ladybugs is that they have a very distinct shape most of the time. In fact, they come with a flat underside and a dome shaped back. Another thing to note is that their elytra has some markings, usually these will be yellow, orange or red with some black spots. These don’t share the Ladybug age, despite popular belief.
Another thing to note here is that the Ladybugs tend to walk with the shorter legs that they have and the antennae are basically forming a smaller club towards the end. You should note that the head is usually found under the pronotum. Their mouth is also changed when compared to other insects like this, as it’s changed specifically to allow chewing. Virgin’s seven sorrows and joys are said to be represented by the Ladybug with 7 spots.
Classification of Ladybugs
One thing to note about the Ladybug diet is that these insects are usually predators and they have a very large appetite for other insects that have a very soft body. You will have to keep in mind that the adult Ladybugs can even eat a few hundred aphids before they made, larvae also eat aphids.
However, there are a few species that prefer things like scale insects, white flies or even mites, yet there are some that feast on mildew and fungus. The epilachninae are eating the Mexican bean beetle. In this case, Ladybugs are great because they can eliminate pests fast and easy.
The Life Cycle of Ladybugs
You can find 4 stages of metamorphosis for the Ladybugs. They start as an egg, evolve into a larva, then a pupa and lastly they will become an adult. Females tend to lay around 1000 eggs in just a few months and these eggs hatch very fast, in just a couple of days. What you need to note here is that the smaller Ladybug larvae are similar to the tiny alligators, since they have a very bumpy skin and their body is pretty long.
The larva tends to attach to a leaf, and then it will evolve into a pupa. You have to note that the pupae are rather orange in color. In 3-12 days, the pupa will become an adult and the Ladybug adult will be ready to feed and mate. Ladybugs do overwinter and they do that as adults. They take a shelter in the leaf litter and they also form clusters in order to stay protected.
There are some species that stay within buildings to protect themselves against the harsher winter. You can find that Ladybugs tend to have numerous names, like the ladybird beetles, lady beetles and ladybug beetles. It doesn’t really matter how you call them, all of these are a part of the Coccinellidae family and they have the same 4-stage life we mentioned above.
Egg (Embryonic Stage)
After the Ladybug female mates, she will lay up to 50 eggs and she will place them on a plan. Most of the time, she opts for a plant that’s aphid-infested. As we mentioned above, during the spring a single female can easily generate around 1000 eggs! Research has shown that these eggs are a combination of fertile as well as infertile ones. A thing to note here is that the new larvae will tend to feed on those eggs that are not fertile. The larvae hatch in 4 days, however things like climate can play a role here as well.
Larva (Larval Stage)
During this stage, the larvae are very similar to the small alligators. You will have to note that most species actually tend to have a combination of black with some colored bands and spots. This is when the larva tends to eat a lot, in fact they can eat 30-40 aphids per day or more.
They also feed on softer plants and their diet also consists from insect eggs and adelgids as well. They might even eat other larvae. They will eat until their cuticle will most. The larva will tend to go through 4 instars and they will then be ready to pupate.
Pupa (Pupal Stage)
At this point, Ladybugs will have the orange or yellow color we mentioned as well as black markings. Despite that, the pupa will still stay attached to the leaf. They do transform quite a bit during this stage, thanks to histoblasts that will reform the Ladybug body as it transform it into an adult. This stage can take up to 12 days in total, depending on the situation.
Adult (Imaginal Stage)
Also known as imagos, the Ladybug adults will come with an exoskeleton that is pretty soft. As a result, it will take a bit until this hardens. This is when they are vulnerable against attackers, so you have to try and keep this in mind.
The colors will also change a bit, in the end you will have the brighter, regular colors that you can find in the case of normal Ladybugs. The adults also feed on insects with a soft body and they will also overwinter, however they will hibernate and come back during the spring.
Special Adaptations and Defenses
Ladybugs do have some defenses like the reflex bleed. This is when they release a substance named hemolymph from the joints. This is toxic and it does have the option of deterring predators, which is something that you need to keep in mind. The bright colors on Ladybugs do signal the toxins and they basically tell predators to avoid them. As we mentioned above, the Ladybugs do tend to lay infertile eggs alongside the fertile ones, mainly because their larvae need to feed.
Range and Distribution
You can find Ladybugs all over the world and there are around 450 species in North America alone. In total, there are around 5000 species of Coccinellids.
Are Ladybugs Poisonous?
Despite popular belief, you will see that Ladybugs are not exactly poisonous for humans. However, they do get to be poisonous for animals. They also emit an odor in order to protect themselves from predators.
But are these poisonous creatures scary for humans? Not at all, in fact they are rather cute. And since they are not poisonous for humans, only lizards and birds should fear them. Even so, these insects tend to alert their predators about the incoming danger.
What Happens If You Eat a Ladybug?
Eating a ladybug isn’t pleasant at all, there’s a foul taste but it will not harm you in any way whatsoever!
What Happens If the Ladybug Bites You?
There will be a small pinch, but you will not feel any venom and there is no effect beyond that initial pinch!
So, Are Ladybugs Poisonous?
You should not be afraid. Ladybugs are not poisonous for humans, however you should not take them in your home just because they are not poisonous. They are creatures designed to stay outside, only during the winter will they try to find a warmer place for hibernation.
They do tend to hibernate as a group in order to stay war. However, this also means that you will find them in clusters if they hibernate in your home. They will stay within the same home as you, however they will not attack you in any way, they won’t feed on your clothes or anything like that!
A good idea if you do not want to cohabitate with Ladybugs is to be certain that there are no door trims, windows and any damaged clapboards. The idea is to eliminate cracks from the exterior of your home. Ladybugs can easily get in via cracks. Caulk the exterior of your home as that also helps.
They will leave yellow stains that showcase a sense of dangers. It’s important to talk with the Modesto pest control company if you want to deal with these bugs, because once they are in your home, it will be very challenging to get them out on your own. Do get in touch and Modesto will gladly assist!