Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata)

Ladybird is a name that has been used in England for more than 600 years for the European beetle Coccinella septempunctataCoccinellidae are a family of beetles belonging to the superfamily Cucujoidea, which in turn belongs to the series Cucujiformia within the suborder Polyphaga of the beetles (Coleoptera). Their relatives within the Cucujoidea are the Endomychidae (“handsome fungus beetles”) and Corylophidae (“minute fungus beetles”). Worldwide, nearly 6,000 species of ladybirds are known, of which 98 are currently reported to occur in Florida .

The Coccinellidae are generally considered useful insects, because many species feed on aphids or scale insects, which are pests in gardens, agricultural fields, orchards, and similar places. Within the colonies of such plant-eating pests, they will lay hundreds of eggs, and when these hatch the larvae will commence feeding immediately.However, some species do have unwelcome effects. Among these, the most prominent are the subfamily Epilachninae, which are plant eaters. Usually, Epilachninae are only mild agricultural pests, eating the leaves of grain, potatoes, beans, and various other crops, but their numbers can increase explosively in years when their natural enemies are few, such as parasitoid wasps that attack their eggs. When that happens, they can do major crop damage. They occur in practically all the major crop-producing regions of temperate and tropical countries.

— original source: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/lady_beetles.htm —

— original source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coccinellidae  —-

— original source: http://science.kqed.org/quest/2012/12/07/ladybug-ladybug-fly-away-home/ —

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