Ladybug, where have you gone? Aphid fighters tend to roam

To some casual observers, ladybugs (or lady beetles) are colorful symbols of good luck—harbingers of fortune and fame. Gardeners value them for their utility as ravenous insects that prey upon plant pests. They buy them ...

Unfolding the folding mechanism of ladybug wings

Japanese scientists have figured out how ladybugs fold their wings by transplanting a transparent artificial wing onto the insect and observing its underlying folding mechanism. The study's findings, which help explain how ...

Kudzu bugs spread into DC area, southern Delaware, Arkansas

The pea-sized bugs look a bit like ticks, can suck one-fifth of the yield out of a soybean field, and travel by highway. In the 5 1/2 years since they were first spotted in Georgia, kudzu bugs have spread 400 to 500 miles ...

In search of the 'lost ladybug'

Leah Tyrrell wants to make something clear: She does not wear ladybug sweatshirts. She does not carry her belongings in ladybug bags, shelter from the rain beneath a ladybug-shaped umbrella, or take notes with pens decorated ...

Found in New York at long last: nine-spotted ladybugs

(PhysOrg.com) -- The nine-spotted ladybug, New York's official state insect, was feared to be extinct in this state until citizen scientists rallied to Cornell's call to help look for it. Several nine-spotted ladybugs were ...

A real-life zombie story in the life of bugs

(PhysOrg.com) -- In a recent study published in Biology Letters, a page of science fiction comes to life in a real-life zombie scenario between the ladybug and a parasitical wasp called Dinocampus coccinellae.

Citizen science: Armies of volunteers aid research

(AP) -- Besides being a researcher in New York's Hudson River Estuary Program, environmental scientist Chris Bowser leads citizen projects that collect reams of data for other scientists.

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Coccinellidae

Coccinellidae is a family of beetles, known variously as ladybirds (UK, Ireland, Australia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand, India, Malta, some parts of Canada and the US), or ladybugs (North America). Scientists increasingly prefer the names ladybird beetles or lady beetles as these insects are not true bugs. Lesser-used names include God's cow, ladyclock, lady cow, and lady fly.

Coccinellids are small insects, ranging from 1 mm to 10 mm (0.04 to 0.4 inches), and are commonly yellow, orange, or scarlet with small black spots on their wing covers, with black legs, head and antennae. A very large number of coccinellid species are mostly, or entirely, black, grey, or brown and may be difficult for non-entomologists to recognize as coccinellids. Conversely, many small beetles are easily mistaken for coccinellids, such as the tortoise beetles.

Coccinellids are found worldwide, with over 5,000 species described, more than 450 native to North America alone.

A few species are considered pests in North America and Europe, but they are generally considered useful insects, as many species feed on aphids or scale insects, which are pests in gardens, agricultural fields, orchards, and similar places. Harmonia axyridis (or the harlequin ladybug) was introduced into North America from Asia in 1916 to control aphids, but is now the most common species as it is out-competing many of the native species. It has since spread to much of western Europe, reaching the UK in 2004.

A common myth is that the number of spots on the insect's back indicates its age.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA