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.

References in periodicals archive ?
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.
However, Rickettsia that show transmission after feeding on plant hosts are increasingly being recognized (11), and the finding of a male-killing Rickettsia in ladybird beetles (8) suggests that the group is associated with arthropods, some members of which cause disease in vertebrates.
As temperatures become warmer, ladybird beetles emerge from overwintering sites and attempt to escape to their natural habitat - outdoors.
Suitability of different artificial diets for development and survival of stages of predaceous ladybird beetle Eriopis connexa (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae).
Even though a female ladybird beetle was caught previously, the male was what scientists needed to classify a new species, notes Winston.
Try This: Watch a ladybird beetle as it moves around.
The right flowers will invite ladybird beetles, lacewings, and other beneficial insects to your backyard
I've followed the return of ladybird beetles and butterflies to the yard with great interest, and as these welcome bugs have made their appearance, I've spent a lot more time wondering about the side effects of "pest" control on my lot.
So goes the old rhyme, and although most ladybird beetles are welcome there is a newcomer to Britain which many wish would indeed fly away home.
Male azyine ladybird beetles have distinctive pairs of hairy bulblike structures, called parameres, that remain outside the female's body, tapping rhythmically against her.
Beneficial insects such as ladybird beetles and lacewings are the garden's good bugs: they feed on plant-damaging pests, including aphids, mites, scale, and whiteflies.