Any of the approximately 5,000 widely distributed beetles of the family Coccinellidae. The name originated in the Middle Ages, when the beetle was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and called “beetle of Our Lady.” Ladybugs are hemispheric and are usually 0.3–0.4 in. (8–10 mm) long. They have short legs and are usually brightly coloured with black, yellow, or reddish markings. Several generations are produced each summer. Ladybugs are often used to control such insect pests as aphids, scales, and mites, which they eat. Several species of ladybugs feed on plants.
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