Ladybugs are some of nature’s most beautiful creatures. They look great in gardens and parks, but they also play a vital role in keeping our environment clean.
In this article, we shall discuss the different types of ladybugs.
What Are Ladybugs?
Ladybugs are common insects found throughout North America. They feed on aphids, scale insects, and other pests. Some species also eat pollen and nectar.
There are over 5,000 known species of ladybug worldwide. Most ladybugs are orange or red, although some are black, yellow, green, blue, white, or brown.
Ladybugs come in various shapes and sizes. Their bodies range from 0.8 to 80mm, while the length of their legs varies from 0.8 to 18mm.
Lifecycle of a Ladybug
The average lifespan of the ladybug is one to three years. Ladybugs go through four different life stages, each lasting from three days to two weeks.
- Egg – Ladybugs lay eggs in clusters, usually under rosebush and milkweed leaves. These are oval-shaped and have a hard shell. Ladybug eggs hatch after about ten days.
- Larva – The larva stage lasts for about a month. At first, they look like miniature versions of their adult forms. Their bodies are covered with tiny hairs. After about four to six weeks, the larvae turn into pupae.
- Pupa – Pupas are inactive and stay inside the cocoon until they become adults. About two weeks later, they become adult ladybugs.
- Adults – Adults ladybugs emerge and are larger than larvae and pupae. They consume pollen, nectar, and tiny insects.
Different Types of Ladybugs
There are several types of ladybugs, and each has its unique characteristics. Let’s look at a few of them.
1. Seven-Spotted Ladybug (Coccinella septempunctata)
The seven-spotted ladybug is a common specie found in Europe. This species has a distinctive pattern of spots on its wings and body.
The spots are in a series of seven rows along each wing. This makes them look like they have seven spots. In addition, these spots are called elytra. Elytra are usually brown or black.
This particular ladybug is reddish with black spots. They feed on aphids, scale insects, mealybugs, thrips, whiteflies, and other soft-bodied insects.
2. Convergent Ladybug (Hippodamia convergens)
Convergent ladybugs are one of the different types of ladybugs. They are native to North America and have been around since before humans were even here. Meanwhile, they eat aphids and other insects that cause damage to crops.
In addition, they are attracted to lights at night. You can see them flying around porch lights and streetlights. If you notice them congregating near these lights, you know they are looking for food. Convergent ladybugs have a dark orange body with black spots.
3. California Ladybug (Coccinella california)
Coccinella California has a reddish brown body with black markings that runs down its back. Their antennae and legs are short. Furthermore, the head is small and rounded, and the eyes are near the top of the head.
4. The 22-spot Ladybug (Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata)
This is also one of the different types of ladybugs that is common in Europe. They are yellow with 22 black spots. Interestingly, they don’t feed on aphids like other ladybugs; instead, they feed on mildew.
5. Cardinal Ladybug (Novius cardinalis)
The Cardinal ladybug, also known as the vedalia beetle, is native to Australia. They are usually up to 4mm long with dense short hair. These ladybugs are reddish-purple with black spots scattered around their body.
In addition, they feed on mites and aphids, which makes them good biological control agents. As a result, they’ve been introduced to countries such as New Zealand, Australia, and California.
6. Pink-spotted Ladybug (Coleomegilla maculata)
This is a large ladybug native to North America. They feed primarily on aphids, and you can use them as biological control agents. Also, they’re 6 millimeters long and pink in color.
Pink-spotted ladybugs feed on aphids, insect eggs, mites, and small larvae. However, they can also eat pollen, nectar, and honeydew.
7. Two-spotted Ladybug (Adalia bipunctata)
The Adalia bipunctata is one of the different types of ladybugs native to North America. It is commonly known as the two-spotted lady beetle. They are predators of aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, and scales.
In addition, they live in wooded areas, gardens, parks, and residential yards and prefer moist environments. They’re red with two black spots on their back.
8. Three-banded Ladybug (Coccinella trifasciata)
This is a specie of ladybug common in Europe, North America, Southern Asia, and Oceania. They are round and come in red, orange and white colors. Also, they feed on insect eggs, caterpillars, mites, aphids, and soft-bodied insects.
You can find them in crop fields, woodlands, meadows, and backyard gardens. They’re 3-5mm in size, and you can find them on most state coasts.
9. Eye-spotted Ladybug (Anatis mali)
This specie is round oval and has a length of 7.3 to 10mm. They’re usually yellow, which changes to brownish red as they age. Also, they feed on aphids.
10. Fifteen-spotted Ladybug (Anatis labiculata)
Lastly, of the different types of ladybugs is the Anatis labiculata. They’re rounded oval in shape, and some come in deep purple color. You can find them in forests and woods, which mainly feed on aphids.
Interesting Facts to Know About Ladybugs
- Ladybugs are great natural pesticides – Ladybugs find flowers, fruits, vegetables, and weeds attractive. When they find their prey, they bite off pieces of the pest and carry it back to their nest, where they regurgitate the food and share it with their young. If you want to attract ladybugs to your garden, try planting marigolds, nasturtiums, cosmos, zinnias, sunflowers, and other flowering plants.
- Ladybugs help control aphids – Aphids are tiny green or black insects that suck the sap out of plants. They cause damage to crops by sucking juices out of plants and transmitting viruses. Ladybugs are excellent at controlling aphids which makes them omnivores. They are attracted to aphid-infested plants and will attack the aphids while they are still on the plant.
- Ladybugs are good pollinators – Ladybugs are also known as “pollinator friends” because they are responsible for spreading pollen between different flower species. They visit flowers, collect pollen, and return it to their nests.
- Ladybugs are beautiful – Ladybugs look like small beetles with long antennae and big eyes.
- Ladybugs don’t sting – If you accidentally step on a ladybug, don’t worry. Ladybugs don’t have any stinger-like appendages.
- Ladybugs are easy to care for – You can keep ladybugs in your home by placing them in a container with water and a few pebbles. Check the container daily to ensure the ladybugs have enough room to move around.
There you have it, the different types of ladybug and their characteristics. Have you identified any of them in your garden yet? If so, please share with us in the comment area below!