Have you ever had a ladybug fly onto your hand? These cute little bugs do more than just show up in cartoons. Learn some interesting facts about ladybugs, their bodies, where they live, and what they eat; and get a printable ladybug fact and activity sheet for kids to enjoy.
Interesting Facts About Ladybugs
Do you love ladybugs? You aren't the only one. These amazing, lucky insects have some pretty fascinating features that you can learn about.
- Ladybugs are also known as ladybirds and lady beetles.
- Ladybugs aren't actually bugs. They are beetles that are part of the Coccinellidae family.
- Ladybugs taste horrible to predators because of the oily fluid in their legs.
- Their bright color is a warning to predators that they taste nasty.
- Ladybugs can play dead when they are near something that will eat them. They actually bleed a little from their knees to pull it off.
- They can live for one to two years. That's a long time in the beetle world. Powderpost beetles only live a few months.
- Ladybugs stink. It's part of their defense mechanism to keep predators away. And they will group together to become stinkier.
- Ladybugs are a sign of good luck.
- Ladybugs don't have ears, so they don't hear like you do. However, they do hear somehow because scientists discovered that ladybugs don't like loud rock music.
- Ladybugs are cannibals. These insects will eat other young ladybugs if they get hungry enough.
- The myth of where their name comes from goes back to the Middle Ages and the Virgin Mary.
Facts About Ladybug Looks and Body
Ladybugs have a distinct look to them. It's why people love them so much. Check out a few interesting facts about their famous features.
- While you might have seen a spotted ladybug, they can have stripes or no spots at all. Some can have over 20 spots on display!
- There are over 6,000 different ladybugs that come in several colors, including black.
- Ladybugs don't use their mouth to taste or their nose to smell. Instead, they use their antennae to do both.
- They have two sets of wings. The red and polka dot shell, called the elytra, is the first set, and their flying set is underneath.
- Ladybugs have a compound eye to see.
- You can only see part of a ladybug's head. Ladybugs have a headband-like feature called a pronotum that protects their head.
- Ladybugs have an abdomen protected by their elytra.
- They have powerful mandibles to help them munch on their food.
- While ladybugs can fly, they can't fly for long, only about a minute or so. But they've been clocked flying at 37 miles per hour!
- Ladybugs unfold their wings to fly around.
- Ladybugs have six short legs.
Ladybug Habitat and Diet Facts for Kids
Like most insects, ladybugs are pretty plentiful. You can find them all over the world. Find out more about what ladybugs eat and where they live.
- Ladybugs are omnivores.
- They are partial to eating aphids, which suck sap and irritate farmers.
- Ladybugs can eat over 50 aphids a day with their mandibles.
- Depending on the type, they can also eat mites, fruit flies, and plants.
- These insects are found all around the world, except in the Arctic areas.
- You can find ladybugs in forests and grasslands, but they also like cities. They can adapt to lots of different environments, so you can find them on trees, farms, and in your home.
- Ladybugs hibernate when they get cold.
- The seven spotted ladybugs were native to Europe, but introduced around the world to help with pests.
Facts About Baby Ladybugs
Insects have an exciting life cycle. Ladybugs go through four different stages, from an egg to an adult. Explore a few quick facts about a ladybug's lifecycle.
- Baby ladybugs are born both male and female, just like Francis in A Bug's Life.
- Ladybugs lay eggs in clusters, typically 5-50.
- They can have over 1,000 babies in their life.
- Ladybugs lay infertile eggs so the new babies can eat them when they are born.
- The eggs they lay can hatch in about 10 days.
- When a ladybug hatches, it's called a larval, which lasts for a month.
- The larval of a ladybug looks like an alien rather than an adult ladybug.
- Larval eat a lot so they can grow big and strong and become pupa.
- Larvae molt four times before becoming a pupa.
- A pupa attaches to a leaf and spends one to two weeks changing its body to become an adult.
Bad Facts About Ladybugs
Ever been bitten by a ladybug? You might have encountered a bad ladybug. Find out more about these pests brought into the U.S.
- Bad ladybugs are, in fact, Asian Lady Beetles, which came from Asia.
- Asian ladybugs bite by scraping the skin.
- They can bite dogs in the mouth and cause an infection or harm their stomach if eaten.
- They stain walls and furniture with their smelly secretions. The stains that these beetles create can cause allergic reactions.
- You can recognize an Asian ladybug by the M or W behind its head.
- These beetles typically have white cheek markings.
- These beetles sneak into your home through cracks, which is uncommon for native ladybugs.
- The scientific name for Asian ladybugs is Harmonia axyridis.