ladybird beetle

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ladybird beetle



member of a cosmopolitan beetlebeetle,
common name for insects of the order Coleoptera, which, with more than 300,000 described species, is the largest of the insect orders. Beetles have chewing mouthparts and well-developed antennae.
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 family with over 4,000 species, including 350 species in the United States. Ladybird beetles are mostly under 1-4 in. (6 mm) long and are nearly hemispherical in shape, with very short legs. They are usually red or yellow with black spots, or black with red or yellow spots, the common species differing only in the number of spots. They have a bitter taste, and their bright coloration is thought to serve as a warning to predators.

The name is believed to date from the Middle Ages, when these beneficial beetles were dedicated to the Virgin. Nearly all ladybird beetles, both larvae and adults, are predators on destructive, plant-eating insects. The eggs are laid on plants infested with aphids or scale insects, on which the larvae feed until they pupate in the remains of the last larval skin. The adults gather in large numbers in the fall, prior to winter hibernation, and are often collected at that time by farmers for use in pest control. The first outstanding demonstration of pest control by use of natural enemies occurred in the United States in 1889, when Australian ladybird beetles (Rhodolia cardinalis) were imported to wipe out the cottony-cushion scale, an insect that had accidentally been imported from Australia to California and there became a threat to citrus orchards.

The Mexican bean beetle (Epilachna varivestis), which has spread through E North America, and the squash beetle (E. borealis) are the only North American ladybird beetles considered destructive. They are yellowish with black spots; adults and larvae feed on plants. The Asian, or harlequin, ladybird beetle (Harmonia axyridis), native to E Asia, is a voracious predator that has been widely introduced elsewhere to control pests. In the fall it seeks shelter inside buildings, becoming a household nuisance, and in some areas where it has been introduced its success also has led to the decline of native ladybird species.

Ladybird beetles are classified in the phylum ArthropodaArthropoda
[Gr.,=jointed feet], largest and most diverse animal phylum. The arthropods include crustaceans, insects, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, scorpions, and the extinct trilobites.
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, class Insecta, order Coleoptera, family Coccinellidae.

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References in periodicals archive ?
Survival rates of ladybird beetles were positively related to an increasing ratio of aphids in their diet.
van Emden (eds.), Ecology and Behaviour of the Ladybird Beetles (Coecinellidae).
Lognay, "Social feeding in ladybird beetles: adaptive significance and mechanism," Chemoecology, vol.
This type of functional response has been detected in several ladybird beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), including Harmonia axyridis Pallas (Lee & Kang 2004), Propylea dissecta Mulsant, Cheilomenes sexmaculata Fabr.
carnea (1.36 individuals/10 plants) ladybird beetle (1.52 individuals/10 plants) and predatory bugs (1.20 individuals/10 plants) was recorded for second observation and during the third observation maximum population density of C.
Even though a female ladybird beetle was caught previously, the male was what scientists needed to classify a new species, notes Winston.
The identification of the collected specimens during the study revealed that there are thirteen species of Ladybird beetle under eleven genera and three subfamilies (Subfamily Chilocorinae, Subfamily Coccinellini and Subfamily Epilachnini) were collected.
Eggs larvae pupae and adults per plant were taken into account for ladybird beetles. All the different stages of the lady beetles (Cocinela suptemntata) syrphid flies (Ischiodon scutellaris) and Chrysopa spp.
Aspects of the biology of the ladybird beetle Stethorus vagans (Blackburn) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae).