What is in this article?:
• Ladybugs aren’t true bugs, but members of the beetle order Coleoptera. We call them ladybugs anyway. Other common names are lady beetles, ladybirds or ladybird beetles.
• Ladybugs prey on aphids and other soft-sided insects, including scale insects, mealybugs, spider mites and eggs of the European corn borer.
• There are nearly 500 ladybug species native to North America.
• Three once-common native ladybug species have disappeared from U.S. farm fields in the last 20 years: nine-spotted, two-spotted and transverse ladybugs.
• Adult ladybugs live about a year.
• Ladybugs’ bright colors and spots serve as a warning to predators that the beetles taste badly.
• According to legend, ladybugs got their name during the Middle Ages, when swarms of aphids destroyed crops. Farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary for help, which came in the form of colorful ladybugs that devoured the aphids. The farmers named the insects “Our Lady’s beetles.”
Source: Lost Ladybug Project, www.lostladybug.org