How Many Legs Does a Lady Bug Have?

many-legs-lady-bug Credit: Stig Nygaard/CC-BY 2.0

Coccinellidae, which are more commonly known as ladybugs in America, have six short legs. They are actually beetles, which is why scientists may refer to them as ladybird beetles or lady beetles.

The ladybug's brightly colored body, covered with spots, is designed to ward off predators. In addition, they are able to secrete a nasty-tasting solution from their legs when they feel threatened, which discourages predators.

Most ladybugs are considered useful garden insects. They eat aphids and other plant-eating pests that are commonly found in crops or gardens. For this reason, many farmers and gardeners purposely add bug-eating ladybugs to their crops. Among the approximately 5,000 varieties of ladybugs in existence, a few are actually harmful to crops; these include the Mexican bean beetle and the squash beetle.