The Ladybug, (Coccinella 7,) was adopted as Tennessee State Insect in 1975. The official state insects were designated by
Public Chapter 292 of the Acts of 1975. They are the well-known firefly, or lightning bug beetle, and the ladybeetle, more commonly known as the ladybug
or ladybird beetle. The lady beetle belongs to the family Coccinellidae.
The legislation did not name a particular species and there are over 500 species found in North America, some native and some not. The Tennessee
Blue Book assumes Coccinella 7, a European species, in its article on the state insects. Coccinella 7 is very common in North America.
The ladybeetle, more commonly called ladybug or ladybird beetle, is the popular name given the Coccinella 7. This beetle was dedicated to the Virgin
Mary and called "Beetle of Our Lady." They are around four-tenths of an inch long, brightly colored, round, with the popular ladybug having four black
spots on each wing. Ladybugs are sold to farmers to control insect pests because they are important aphid predators. The life cycle is about four weeks
as the ladybug larvae passes through four growth stages feeding on insects and insect eggs. The reddish-orange ladybug has distinctive black spots
on each wing cover.
It helps farmers by controlling insect pests, especially aphids. In folk medicine, ladybugs were believed to cure various diseases such as colic
and measles. In folk medicine ladybug beetles were used to cure various diseases including colic and the measles.
Characteristics of the Ladybug
Small, domed usually hemispherical. Head sunk into pronotum. legs short and retractable; tarsi 4-segmented but 3rd segment very small and concealed
in bi-lobed 2nd. 7 Black spots on bright red. Adults may be seen from March to October.
Bright colors generally indicate that the insect is armed and dangerous! In this case the ladybird is advertising it's bitter taste. When handled
the ladybird will exude drops of pungent fluid which stain the hand and taint it with a long-lasting smell.
As with most in this family, ladybirds will eat huge numbers of aphids in both the larval and adult stages
Some Facts About Ladybugs:
Ladybugs are the most popular and widely used beneficial insects for commercial and home use. Ladybugs are capable of consuming up to 50 to 60
aphids per day but will also eat a variety of other insects and larvae including scales, mealy bugs, leaf hoppers, mites, and various types of soft-bodied
insects, and are one of the most active predators, searching from dawn to dusk for food.
Ladybugs will consume over 5,000 aphids each in their lifetime. Pollen and nectar are necessary for maturation of newly emerged ladybug adults,
particularly before a winter hibernation season. Adults can survive on pollen and nectar for limited periods, but a supply of aphids or other prey
is necessary for egg production.
Ladybugs become active at about 59 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ladybugs are cold-blooded and hibernate in cold weather.
There are nearly 5,000 different kinds of ladybugs worldwide - 400 of which live in North America.
A ladybug's top flying speed is about fifteen miles per hour.
Ladybugs lay their eggs where aphids are present. Both lady bugs and their larvae eat aphids. The eggs of ladybugs are not visible to the naked
A female ladybug will lay more than 1000 eggs in her lifetime.
Ladybugs are a type of beetle. All species of ladybugs have short legs. This separates them from other beetles.
Ladybugs chew from side to side and not up and down like people do.