Lady bugs are distinctive tiny insects, about 1/16 to 3/8 of an inch long. They have a bitter taste, which makes them unappealing to predators. Their bright colors and spots clearly identify them to birds, who hopefully will remember the bad taste and pass them over when looking for prey. Lady bugs live 2 to 3 years in the wild.
Variations of Spots and Shades
There are many species of lady bug. Each one has a different color and number of spots. Their bodies can be black, red, orange or yellow, with spots varying between black, red, white, and yellow shades. The number of spots can be 2 to 13 on a single member of the species. In addition to its appearance and bad taste that contribute to its life span, lady bugs also can play dead, in essence hiding from predators who may otherwise choose to attack.
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Catherine Lovering has written about business, tax, careers and pets since 2006. Lovering holds a B.A. (political science), LL.B. (law) and LL.L. (civil law).