Ladybirds are beetles within the family Coccinellidae. They have round bodies and their elytra (wing cases) are often brightly coloured and adorned with spots. The bright colours are used to warn predators that they are unpalatable and, when attacked, they also 'reflex bleed'.

Ladybirds are usually considered beneficial insects as both adults and larvae eat large numbers of aphids. Ladybirds are even sold as biological control agents.

Ladybirds often overwinter in large numbers. These aggregations can be a nuisance when they gather within houses.

The name ladybird comes from the Middle Ages. The beetles were called the "beetle of Our Lady" because, at that time, the Virgin Mary was often depicted in paintings wearing red clothing.

A photograph of the Two-spot ladybird _Adalia bipunctata_

The two-spot ladybird (Adalia bipunctata). An adult can eat up to fifty aphids a day.

Other names for (or types of) Ladybird include:

Related terms

Related pages on this web site

See other words beginning with L

Browse terms by A-Z

Back to Glossary

If you have found this glossary useful please consider supporting the Amateur Entomologists' Society by becoming a member or making a donation.