Q:

Why do ladybugs have black spots?

A:

Quick Answer

The black spots on a ladybug's back work as a defense mechanism, as the insects possess a chemical that tastes bitter to small animals and birds. When a potential predator is near, the ladybug's spots and bright colors serve as a reminder that the insects are inedible.

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Full Answer

Ladybugs are red, orange, yellow or black in color. Most ladybug species are spotted, but certain species only have two spots, while others can have as many as 13 spots. Multicolored Asian ladybug shells have several color patterns that include red with tiny black dots, red with multiple black spots, and black with thick red spots. Convergent ladybugs have orange shells with multiple black spots. Twice-stabbed ladybugs have solid black shells with single red spots on each side.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the scientific name for the ladybug?

    A:

    The ladybug's scientific name is Coccinella septempunctata. According to the University of Florida's department of Entomology & Nematology, the name is a shortened derivative of the European term "ladybird" that has been used to describe the insect for centuries.

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  • Q:

    What is a ladybug's natural habitat?

    A:

    The natural habitat for ladybugs is areas of dense vegetation, such as forests, meadows, weed patches and gardens. Most ladybugs are especially fond of aphids and often live in areas where these plant-eaters are found, such as among roses, oleander, milkweed and broccoli patches.

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  • Q:

    Will anything kill ladybug beetles?

    A:

    Ladybug beetles are exterminated by using residual insecticide or pesticide. Non-chemical control methods, such as light trapping, sweeping or vacuuming, don't kill the pesky pests.

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  • Q:

    How can you tell if a ladybug is a boy or girl?

    A:

    A female lady bug is slightly larger than a male lady bug, and if a layperson happens upon ladybugs mating, the partner on top is the male. However, most laypeople cannot readily discern the difference between a male and female ladybug.

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