The Animations on this Page are to the best of my knowledge are Royalty Free.

These are the only animations of Ladybirds and more Animals Animations can be accessed from the table at the bottom of the page.

 

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In Europe, during the middle Ages, insects were destroying the crops, so the Catholic farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary for help. Soon the Ladybirds came, ate the plant-destroying pests and saved the crops! The farmers began calling the Ladybirds “The Beetles of Our Lady”, they eventually became known as ‘Lady Beetles’! The red wings represented the Virgin’s cloak and the black spots represented her joys and sorrows. They didn’t differentiate between males and females.

The common Ladybirds of gardens have but a very few of the wide diversity of species assigned to the beetle family, Coccinellidae. The family name Coccinellidae probably comes from the Latinized Greek word ‘Kokkos’ meaning a seed or berry because of their rounded and convex shape of the beetles. The Latin Coccinus (scarlet coloured), is the root of the name.

Coccinellidae is the biggest family of superfamily Cucujoidea with about 6000 species classified in 370 genera worldwide. There are 57 genera and about 500 species in Australia.

Most of the commonly seen Ladybirds are brightly coloured and patterned, readily attracting the attention of home gardeners and small children.

Ladybirds eat Aphids but not all Ladybirds like all the ‘flavours’ of Aphids so they also feed on scale insects and plant mites. Aphids come in a variety of colours and are soft bodied insects that are a very destructive pest sucking the juices out of plants. If you have roses or tomato plants in your garden, you have probably seen Aphids. Ladybirds don’t eat fabric, plants, paper or any other household items.

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Ladybirds are not poisonous to humans. However, they can have toxic effects on some animals. Ladybirds have a foul odour which deters some predators from eating them and their bright colours also help as a deterrent. In nature, red and orange, are warning colours that indicate to another animal or insect that the potential ‘lunch item’ might not be a good choice.

Ladybirds come in many colours including pink, yellow, white, orange and black. Nature has uniquely designed a warning system of colours. Red, yellow and black are colours that warn predators that the insect they are about to eat might not be a good lunch choice. The colours can warn of danger such as poisonous, bad taste, or the ability to defend itself against the predators. Colours can also camouflage and warn when there is nothing about the insect that is harmful. The bright colours of Ladybirds warn birds that they don’t taste good as they make a chemical that smells and tastes bad so predators won’t eat them.

Ladybirds can also protect themselves by playing dead. By pulling their legs up ‘turtle-style’, and typically release a small amount of yellow blood from their legs. (This is called reflex bleeding.) The bad smell and the apparent look of death usually deter predators from their small Ladybird snack. After the threat of danger has passed, the Ladybird will resume its normal activities.

Both the male and female are called Ladybird. It’s almost impossible for the average person to tell them apart. But females are usually larger than males. Also, if you observe one Ladybird riding atop another Ladybird, they are in the process of mating. A male Ladybird will grab the female’s elytra (hard wings) and holds on tight. An entomologist (bug scientist) can see the difference between males and females under a microscope.

Ladybirds are typically ‘species specific’ meaning that they can only reproduce successfully with members of their same species. The male and female reproduction parts are termed "lock and key" which means that the male’s aedeagus (insect penis) will only "fit" with the female of his same species. New species evolves over time through evolution. It can also occur more rapidly through genetic mutations that have continued to appear in successive generations.

Ladybird babies are the larva. They look like little black and orange alligators with small spikes.

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There are lots of animals and insects that prey upon Ladybirds; insect-eating birds, like martins, swallows, swifts and crows; insects like dragonflies, assassin bugs, parasitic wasps and ants. Other predators include tree frogs, anoles, parasites, fungus and mites.

Different Ladybirds have different numbers of spots. Some have no spots while some have as many as twenty four. Ladybirds generally complete their life cycle within one year. The spots are with them all their life. They don’t get more spots as they get older but they do fade, nor do they lose spots.

A Ladybird can lay up to 1000 eggs in its lifetime. The life cycle stages of a Ladybird are Egg, Larva, Pupa, and Adult. The first three stages vary from 7-21 days each depending on the weather, and food supplies. The adult stage lasts between 3-9 months depending on weather, length of hibernation, food supplies and also predators.

The Ladybirds feed on aphids and other soft bodied insects that feed on plants so they are considered a ‘beneficial’ insect. The Ladybird feeds on these pests both as the adult and as the larva. One Ladybird can eat as many as 50 aphids a day will clean themselves after a meal. Because of this many gardeners and farmers use them for pest control instead of chemicals.

Ladybirds usually hibernate in large groups in cold weather.

Many countries consider a Ladybird to be a sign of good luck.

Ladybirds are actually beetles, so sometimes are called Ladybeetles or Ladybugs.

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Source: Ladybirdlady.com. (This site is no longer online.)

For a List of Ladybird Species Click Here.

For a List of Australian Ladybird Species Click Here.

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Ladybirds Borders.

 

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It’s Done like this<div align="center"><img src="LadybirdsScrollingLeft_Big.gif" alt=" LadybirdsScrollingLeft_Big.gif" title="LadybirdsScrollingLeft_Big" ><img src="LadybirdsScrollingLeft_Big.gif" alt="LadybirdsScrollingLeft_Big.gif" title="LadybirdsScrollingLeft_Big"><img src="LadybirdsScrollingLeft_Big.gif" alt="LadybirdsScrollingLeft_Big.gif" title="LadybirdsScrollingLeft_Big"></div>The Red is Changeable. See Below.

To get them to run UP or DOWN you just put a <br> in-between each image also for some browsers you should put a hspace="0" or a vspace="0" into each image; depending on the direction you wish them to go.

For available Big & Xtra Large versions of these Animations Click Here.



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