Q:

How do ladybirds move?

A:

Quick Answer

Ladybirds, also known as ladybugs, move by crawling and flying. Attached to the thorax, which is the middle section between the head and the abdomen, are three sets of legs that enable them to crawl on solid objects and two sets of wings. One is a hard, outer protective set, underneath which is a sensitive flight set.

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Full Answer

The ladybird's body has an exoskeleton composed of a protein similar to that in human nails and hair. Besides the thorax, the body consists of the head and the abdomen. The head has a mouth, compound eyes and antennae. The abdomen houses the ladybird's reproductive, digestive and respiratory organs. Ladybirds breathe air, but instead of breathing through their mouths, they breathe through openings in their thoraxes and abdomens.

Ladybirds are distinctive for their bright colors of red, orange and yellow. These colors, as well as a foul-smelling chemical they project, protect them from most predators. Many types of ladybirds are carnivorous and are considered useful to gardeners, as their prey includes garden pests such as aphids, mites, fruit flies and other plant-devouring insects. Some farmers and gardeners introduce ladybirds among their plants and crops as alternative pest removers instead of pesticides. Female ladybirds deposit tiny eggs on the underside of leaves. When the caterpillar-like larvae hatch, they each eat 350 to 400 aphids in the two weeks it takes for them to grow into pupae. On average, ladybirds live one to two years.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do ladybugs reproduce?

    A:

    Ladybugs mate by the male mounting the female of the species and deposit his sperm. The males are able to hang on to the females' hard wing coverings if the female tries to resist.

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  • Q:

    Do ladybugs bite?

    A:

    Most species of ladybug are not aggressive towards humans and therefore do not bite. All ladybugs have mouth parts that can be used for biting, but they are generally used for consuming small pest insects, such as the aphids which make up a majority of their diet. The one exception is the Asian ladybug, a swarming species that is more aggressive than the others.

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  • Q:

    Are there green ladybugs?

    A:

    There are no true green ladybugs. However, certain species of spotted cucumber beetles resemble ladybugs, and there are vivid yellow ladybug beetles that may appear green under certain lighting conditions.

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  • Q:

    How do you get rid of ladybugs?

    A:

    Get rid of ladybugs by sweeping or vacuuming them up, applying soap or diatomite to infested areas and sealing cracks and entry points into the home. Typically, ladybugs require removal during the spring and fall when they are most active.

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