Yes, ladybugs do play dead, in an effort to stray their predators into thinking that they aren’t fresh prey (and hence not nutritious) and not worth their time.
Moreover, Ladybugs even produce fluid from their legs to sway away any predators that might have their eyes on the ladybugs!
So, yes Ladybugs are more tricky than one might think, and they go to extents to stay safe and live through the gaze of their predators.
How Do Ladybugs Actually Die?
There are countless ways in which ladybugs end up dying, but let’s talk about their natural death and what happens when they have lived their full life.
Well, as a ladybug ages, it’s body starts getting long, and changes its shape to become less circular in shape.
Moreover, another important thing to note at this point is that the spots on the back of the ladybug starts becoming more and more faded as time passes. And other things like, lesser stamina to fly, slaggy motions become more common in aged ladybugs.
Furthermore, when their death is near, ladybugs along with other insects lose their sense of coordination with their body parts.
And eventually as the ladybug’s functions slow down, and the ladybug becomes weak, it even starts breathin slowly an then a bit later (could be a few hours, or a few days, depending on how long the ladybug’s life is) it passes away.
A Dead Ladybug
One of the most real ways of telling whether a ladybug has already died, is by slighly touching its head down, either with your hand or some light object, the head of a dead ladybug would fall from its body and topple over to fall down.
Is The Ladybug Dead Or Hibernating?
Well, this can often be confusing, and one of the biggest determining factors when it comes to this is the time of the year, or in other words whether its cold enough for a ladybug to be hibernating or not at the time. It is often said by insects expert, that if it is time for you to be wearing a coat then it is time for a ladybug to be hibernating
Ladybugs hibernate throughout the winter season, and they usually do it in a slightly warmer environment and mostly even in groups of hundreds or even thousands.
A Ladybug’s Life Cycle
Although they are officially bugs, lady beetles are actually part of the Coleoptera order. When hatched from eggs, they go through a complete metamorphosis, which involves developing into a fully grown bug.
These tiny insects are known to eat aphids, which can cause crop and plant damage. They hibernate during the winter to avoid harming the plants and crops they feed on.
Adult ladybugs can live for about a year. They can eat thousands of aphids in their lifetime. They go through diapause or hibernate to keep themselves warm during the cold seasons.
If you are planning on releasing ladybugs into your garden, make sure they are forced to hibernate as they will be hungry once they warm up. You might also want to add a few drops of sugar water to the bottom of the plant to encourage them to start eating.
Fun Facts About Ladybugs!
- Although they seem small, ladybugs can eat up to 80 aphids in a single day. This is a fact that proves their worth as they can go on to feed on thousands of insects.
- Not all ladybugs have spots on their backs. For example, the Asian lady bug is one of the most hated ladybugs due to its lack of spots on its back.
- Ladybugs can lay eggs up to a 1000. They can also transform into adults within a couple of months, and their usual lifespan varies from between 1 to 3 years.
- Ladybugs can produce a fluid from their legs to attract predators.
- These flying insects can fly for no more than a few minutes at a time. Their speed depends on the environment they’ve been in and the scents they detect.
- In terms of altitude, the scientists found that the Ladybugs can reach a height of 3,600 feet. They have a high protein diet and maintain their high speed through exercise.
- Although they can fly, the wings of most ladybug species are not designed to fly. They also have various other things that they consume.
- These insects have 2 pairs of wings. The size of their wings can vary depending on the species. They can eat up to 75 aphids a day.
- Ladybugs are active when they are warm. They can be found in the spring and fall.
- These bugs can tell predators that they’re not afraid to eat anything. They also taste terrible. They do this by not only playing dead but also secreting a disturbing liquid.
- As Europeans started praying to the Virgin Mary for protection, they would often see beneficial ladybugs in their gardens. They called them Marienkafer.
- It has been believed that the Virgin Mary named the seven-spotted lady beetle first.
- These creatures fly for a couple of minutes. Their environment and scents help them determine their path.
- These insects can fly at speeds of over 30 miles per hour. They make them as fast as a horse.
- The Ladybugs can be seen at altitudes of over 3,600 feet. They run on a high protein diet.
That’s about it for this blog, if you want to know about whether and how ladybugs fly, we have an elaborate article written on just that (you can give it a look “Here“)
And if you want to learn more about the kinds of noises that ladybugs produce, then you can give a look at one of our relevant articles on that topic “Here“