Like all beetles, ladybugs are insects. They live all over the world, just not in the sea or at the North Pole and the South Pole. They have six legs and two antennae. Above the wings are two hard wings like shells.
The ladybugs are probably the children’s favorite bugs. With us, they are usually red with black dots. They also have a round body shape. So they are easy to draw and you can recognize them immediately. We consider their lucky charms. Many people think that the number of dots indicates how old a ladybug is. But that’s not true. The points can be used to distinguish several types: for example the five-point beetle or the seven-point beetle.
Ladybugs have fewer enemies than other bugs. Their bright color deters most enemies. They also stink in the mouths of their enemies. They then remember immediately: Colorful beetles stink. They quickly stop eating them.
How do ladybugs live and reproduce?
In the spring, the ladybugs are pretty starved and start looking for food right away. But they also immediately think of their offspring. No matter how tiny the animals are, the males have a penis with which they transfer their sperm cells into the female’s body. A female lays up to 400 eggs under leaves or in the cracks in the bark in April or May. They do it again later in the year.
Larvae hatch from the eggs. They molt several times before pupating. Then the ladybug’s hatch.
Most ladybug species feed on lice, even as larvae. They eat up to 50 pieces a day and several thousand in their lifetime. Lice are considered pests because they suck the sap from plants. So when ladybugs eat the lice, they destroy the pests in a natural and gentle way. That pleases many gardeners and farmers.
The ladybugs eat up a supply of fat. In autumn they gather in larger groups and look for shelter for hibernation. These can be gaps in the roof beams or other cracks. They are particularly annoying when they settle between the panes of old windows.