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Coccinellidae is a family of tiny beetles that range in size from 0.8 to 18 mm in length (0.03 to 0.71 in). In North America, the family is known as ladybugs, but in the United Kingdom and other English-speaking countries, it is known as ladybirds. Because these insects are not recognized as real bugs, entomologists prefer the titles ladybird beetles or lady beetles.
Because many species prey on herbivorous hemipterans like aphids and scale insects, which are agricultural pests, the majority of coccinellid species are considered helpful insects. Many coccinellids deposit their eggs in aphid and scale insect colonies to guarantee that their larvae have access to food right away. However, certain species have unfavorable consequences; the most notable are those belonging to the Epilachninae subfamily (which includes the Mexican bean beetle), which are herbivorous. Epilachnines are usually small agricultural pests that consume grain, potatoes, beans, and a variety of other crops’ leaves, but their numbers can skyrocket in years when their natural enemies, such as parasitoid wasps that attack their eggs, are in short supply. They can cause significant crop damage in such scenarios. They can be found in nearly all of the world’s major crop-producing regions, both temperate and tropical.
The word coccinellid comes from the Latin word coccineus, which means “scarlet.” The bug became known as “Our Lady’s bird” or the Lady beetle in Britain, where it was given the moniker “ladybird.” In early paintings, Mary (Our Lady) was frequently represented wearing a scarlet robe, and the spots of the seven-spot ladybird (the most common in Europe) were thought to represent her seven pleasures and sorrows. The name was changed to “ladybug” in the United States. In various other European languages, common names have the same meaning; for example, the German name Marienkäfer means Marybeetle.
Coccinellids have yellow, orange, or red wing coverings with little black dots on them, as well as black legs, heads, and antennae. However, there is a lot of diversity in these color patterns. A handful of species, such as the twelve-spotted Vibidia duodecimguttata, have white dots on a dark background. Coccinellids may be found all over the world, with over 6,000 species identified.
Larvae, Pupae, And Adults Of Clitostethus Arcuatus
The bodies of most coccinellids are spherical to elliptical in form, with six short legs. They might have spots, stripes, or no markings at all, depending on the species. Coccinellids with seven spots have a black head with white patches on each side and three spots on each side and one in the centre.
Many coccinellid species are completely or wholly black, dark grey, gray, or brown, and non-entomologists may have difficulty recognizing them as coccinellids. Non-entomologists, on the other hand, may readily mistake many other little beetles for coccinellids. Tortoise beetles, like ladybird beetles, are similar in appearance because they are designed to cling to a flat surface so tightly that ants and other adversaries cannot touch them.
Non-entomologists frequently misidentify a wide range of beetle species belonging to different families as “ladybirds,” or coccinellids. When beetles are speckled in red, orange, or yellow and black, they are especially vulnerable to misidentification. Scarabaeid grapevine beetles, as well as spotted species of the Chrysomelidae, Melyridae, and other families, are examples. On the other hand, unmarked Coccinellidae species may be misidentified as “ladybirds” by laypeople. Other beetles with a protective hemispheric form, such as those of the Coccinellidae (for example, the Cassidinae), are frequently misidentified as ladybirds.