Classification of the Lady Beetle

Entomology is an important study nowadays. This is due to the fact that it helps and enables people to understand the importance of the diverse living organisms. This paper is focusing on ladybug. This insect has been of great importance to the human beings and environment. The ladybird is also known as ladybeetle or ladybird beetle. There exist around five thousand species of this insect. It also a famous fact that ladybird beetle has been always welcome since people consider them as a sign of good luck (Hodek, van Emden, & Honek, 2012). The ladybird beetles also have appealing colors which may vary. The most common colors that are dominant are orange and red. The ladybug body structure is oval or dome shaped. Their body also consists of three pairs of legs. One ladybug can consume over five thousand insects during its life period (Hodek, van Emden, & Honek, 2012). It is considered that ladybugs have been accidentally introduced in New Orleans (Evans, & Bellamy, 2000). The ladybud infestation has been increasing their population in Louisiana, Pennsylvania and other Northern States of the U.S over the years (Dreistadt, 2004). The purpose of this paper is to identify the different species of the ladybug. Moreover, understanding of the impacts of the ladybag is also demonstrated. The paper also intends to explain the origin of ladybird beetle in the U.S and why it was introduced in the country. In order to successfully understand the nature of this insect, the bug should be analyzed according to its scientific classification. It is also necessary to understand the life stages that the bud undergoes in order to become a satisfied adult. Since the bug is important to the ecosystem, this requires efforts to protect them and ensure that their species are maintained.

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The scientific name of the ladybug is Coccinellidae Septempunctata (Hodek, van Emden, & Honek, 2012). They come from the family of the Coccinellidae. Coccinellid is a word that has the Latin origin from the word Cocconeus, which means scarlet (Dreistadt, 2004). The family of Coccinellidae consists mainly of beetles. The lady bud’s habitat is the grass, lands, and forests. Ladybird beetle are classified as omnivore due to their diet, which includes mainly aphids and pollen (Hodek, van Emden, & Honek, 2012). The ladybug belongs to the kingdom of Animalia and to the class Insecta. The ladybug is also classified in the phylum Arthropoda and corresponds to Coleoptera (Dreistadt, 2004). The ladybird beetle has several species. In Kentucky U.S, there are several species, which include: Coleomegilla mecutata, Harmonia axyridis, Hippodamia convergens, Coccinella septempunctata. Coleomegilla mencutata. They are characterized by their adult and larva consuming on aphids (Hodek, van Emden, & Honek, 2012). They are also known due to their habit of feeding over fifty percent of pollen grains (Hodek, van Emden, & Honek, 2012). They are pink with reddish spots. Harmonia axyridis are orange in color, and most of them do not have spots on their body. Hippodamia are also found in Kentucky, and they are orange and black. The size of their body structure is medium. Coccinella septempunctata has also medium body size (Dreistadt, 2004). They are usually characterized by their seven spotted body. In Colorado, there is also a variety of ladybug species, which include Epilachna varivestis and Adalia bipunctata among many others (Dreistadt, 2004). Epilachna varivestic is commonly known as Mexican bean beetle. These species feed the plants and are mainly found on the bean farms. Adalia bipunctata is also a species of the ladybird beetle family. It is commonly known as two spotted lady beetle. It is also easily identified since it has two spots on its body as well as red wing. In Queensland in Australasia, the dominant species of the lady beetle is Henosepilachna guttatopustulata (Slipinski, 2013). This Henosepilachna guttatopustulata feeds primarily the plants. They are reddish with black and little orange color. In New Zealand, there is the Apolinus lividigaster (Slipinski, 2013). This species is black with yellow spots, which makes it different from the other species. They consume aphid as their main diet.

Lady Bug Life Cycle

The lady beetle life cycle is mainly characterized by the complete metamorphosis. This means that the life cycle has four transitions, namely from the egg, larva, pupa, and adult respectively.

  • Egg Stage

The ladybug lays its eggs in the first stage. The insect searches suitable place with a favorable climate and availability of aphid. The eggs laid by lady beetle are yellow and have an oval shape (Dreistadt, 2004). The eggs are usually in clusters, and they are found beneath the surface of the leaves. The eggs of lad bug are unique in a way that they can be differentiated from other eggs laid by the insects (Hodek, van Emden, & Honek, 2012). The difference includes color and the size of the egg. They are also laid on any leaf as long as there is presence of their prey (Dreistadt, 2004). Then, it takes a period of three to five days for the eggs to hutch and become larva. This is, however, affected by the temperature of the surroundings. Before the egg hutches, it maybe be observed that its color changes can. In the last stage, its color becomes gray (Slipinski, 2013).

  • Larva Stage

The larva stage is characterized as a transitional growth of the lady bird beetle from egg stage to pupa. The larva has a bow shaped leg, which is reflected to its appearance (Evans, & Bellamy, 2000). The larva molt four times as they grow into the pupa stage. Moreover, its development has three steps and the molting usually occurs between the stages (Slipinski, 2013). This phase takes place during a period of ten to fourteen days. The color of larva is usually orange and black. Its body structure is mainly characterized by its similarity to the alligator and is long in length (Slipinski, 2013). The development of larva takes place in plants whereas their diet at this period is mainly aphid. During this stage, the larva does not move to any place (Dreistadt, 2004). The last phase is also known as pre-pupa stage.

  • Pupa Stage

Pupa stage is the period between the larva and adulthood. During the last phase of larva they shad their cover to become pupa later (Dreistadt, 2004). However, some pupas still have the skin from the larva stage, which covers some of its parts. The pupa is mostly black with reddish spots on their body. It is worth notinh that during this period the pupa is on the upper surface of the leaf and it usually faces downwards (Slipinski, 2013). During this stage, the pupa can move when disturbed by anything. Moreover, it also does not eat. The pupa can take five to eight days to become an adult depending on the weather conditions (Slipinski, 2013).

  • Adult

The pupa lasts for five to seven days in order to become a full satisfied adult. When the pupa has shed its cover, it is still fragile and soft (Slipinski, 2013). The adult is approximately a quarter inch in length. Their body structure is characterized with three body segments. The segments include head, thorax, and abdomen. The head is the first segment followed by the thorax and then the abdomen respectively. The adults are mostly dark red and pale orange with black spotted body. They are dome shaped and have tiny legs (Slipinski, 2013). Their legs are shiny, and they have antennae, which are also small in size (Dreistadt, 2004). The adult and larva have a common similarity, which is the fact that they both feed aphids. The adult ladybird beetle usually moves to the areas, which are infested with pests and other insects. This is probably due to the fact that they are seeking their own food and a place where they can lay their eggs. A single lady bird can lay eggs from the range of five hundred to seven hundred eggs (Dreistadt, 2004). The lady bird beetle usually migrates to other places if their breeding ground experiences a reduction of pests. During this period, they usually move to the highland where there is presence of nectar and pollen grains, which they opt to consume (Evans, & Bellamy, 2000). The beetle also feeds caterpillar, mites, soft scale, aphid and small insects. The adult ladybug can live for a period from two to three years; then, its life cycle is complete. A single ladybird beetle can have two generations annually, which is also dependent to the availability of their prey (Hodek, van Emden, & Honek, 2012).

Origin of the Ladybird Beetle

Most of the lady bird beetle is believed to have originated from the Asian countries. However, Asian lady beetle has its roots in the Asian countries, including China, Korea and the other Asian states (Evans, & Bellamy, 2000). The name ladybird beetle came from Britain during the time that Europeans experienced infestation of pests that destroyed their agricultural product. They believed that the bug was sent from God after praying to the Virgin Mary to help them curb the damages, which they experienced (Roy, & Wajnberg, 2008). The lady bug lives on trees and feeds aphids, soft scale and other small insects. The first lady beetle was found in the state of Louisiana in the U.S in the year of 1988 (Hodek, van Emden, & Honek, 2012). The ladybug population has increased in the United States and Canada. During the period from 1960 to 1990, the U.S Department of Agriculture established the Asian lady beetle in order to curb the effects of pests in the agricultural sector (Dreistadt, 2004). Consequently, the state of Kentucky in the U.S had not been introduced to the ladybug as a means of biological control agent. Moreover, it eventually migrated to Kentucky from the northern and southern states. The species found in Kentacky were several, including the Coleomegilla meculata, Hermonia axyridis and other species (Arnett, et al, 2002).

Impact of Lady Bug Introduction

The introduction of lady beetle has both positive and negative impact. The positive influence of the insect is mostly connected with its importance for human beings and the ecosystem. This includes the fact that the ladybug is one of biological control agents. This has made the agricultural sector decrease the use of hazardous chemicals in order to reduce the infestation of pests on the farm (Hodek, van Emden, & Honek, 2012). This ensures that the products are fresh and do not pose any harm to the human after consumption. The ladybird beetle is a positive and efficient means of reducing the pests in the North America (Dixon, 2000). The state introduced the bug in order to prevent pest’s destroying of the agricultural products. The use of lady beetle has also significantly shown that it is a means of employment. People have learned how to keep the beetle for financial purposes (Roy, & Wajnberg, 2008). The ladybug also helps to reduce various irritating small insects. The use of lady bird beetle as a biological control agent has also saved capital, which could be used for the production of chemicals such as pesticide (Slipinski, 2013). This is important for the economy of the country since a lot of its revenue would serve other pressing issues.

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However, the bug has also negative impact on the human life and the ecosystem. Firstly, the ladybird has caused discomfort to the home owners during the winter seasons (Roy, & Wajnberg, 2008). This is due to the fact that they seek shelter in the houses homes during the period. The infestation of lady beetle ruins rug and furniture in the residential places (Roy, & Wajnberg, 2008). The insect releases a yellow fluid that has bad smell and is responsible for destroying the fabric (Hodek, van Emden, & Honek, 2012). They pass through cracks on the walls and any other openings. Moreover, the ladybird beetle endangers some species of small animals, which may be important for both the environment and human beings (Roy, & Wajnberg, 2008). For example, the ladybug consumes small caterpillar, which help in oxidizing the soil which is then used for seeds germination. The negative influence of the lady beetle includes ruining crops in the farms (Slipinski, 2013). This is demonstrated by the Mexican bean beetles, which consume mostly farm crops (Cranshaw, 2009). The ladybug is also not favorable in farms that do not have pests. This is due to the fact that if they do not have their predators, they opt to feed nectar and pollen grain. Pollen is important for the growth of seeds and food in the farms. When they have been adversely consumed, it is expected to have low production of the farm products. The lady beetle also causes allergic respiratory symptom in the people whose houses have been infested with the bug (Sharma, et al, 2006).

Protecting and Introducing the Lady bug

Ladybugs are important in the human life and that is the main reason for which the beetle has to be protected. This is done by ensuring that the place has the favorable temperature for their breeding (Foottit, 2009). It is also important to keep the farm humid since the ladybug likes breeding on the places with corresponding conditions. In order to ensure that the bugs increase their population, people have to ensure that they find food (Dixon, 2000). This can be done by introducing crop, which has both nectar and pollen grains (Dixon, 2000). This would help them to migrate and come to the farm. The farmer should also try using little insecticide in order to prevent ladybugs from killing (Dreistadt, 2004).

Ladybug is an important insect for both human life and the general environment. It has a distinctive color, which enables an easy identification of the small insect. The bug basically undergoes four stages in order to mature into an adult. After becoming an adult, it lays eggs and the same procedure takes place. This process is known as a complete metamorphosis. The adult is then potential in the effort of pest eradicator. Due to this reason, many countries experiencing the hazardous effects caused by the pests opt to use this method. This method is important since it reduces the use of insecticides and pesticides. It is also vital in the agricultural sector because farm products are fresh and undisturbed. These facts increasingly lead to awareness that this form of pest eradication should be established. It is important to note that although its profits are splendid they also pose hazardous reactions to the human beings. This is due to the fact that they infest people homes during the winter seasons and cause discomfort to the home owner. Finally, the ladybug is important and should be used in order to gain an eco-friendly environment.

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