Most people love seeing Ladybirds around in the summer. There’s something about their gentle movements as they move across a leaf as well as their pretty colours that makes us smile. I love them so much I even put a ladybird in one of my stories.
The story is called ‘Free As A Ladybird’ and it focuses on the conflict between a granny and her daughter when one of them, the grandmother feels trapped and wishes for freedom. The Ladybird in the story is trapped in a matchbox by the granddaughter and is seen as a metaphor for freedom by her granny.
Ladybirds are also known as Ladybugs, particularly in the US. They come from the Coccinellidea family. Ladybirds are actually quite extraordinary little creatures and here are some quite extraordinary facts you may not have known about them.
1. What are Ladybirds? They are a small beetle.
2. How many types of Ladybirds are there? There are 5,000 species around the world.
3. Where did they get their name? Ladybirds were named after Our Lady, the Virgin Mary – the colour red represents Mary’s cloak.
4. How many spots does the common red ladybird have? Seven.
5. Which are the biggest the males or females? Females are the biggest and eat about seventy-five aphids a day. Males eat around forty.
6. How fast can they fly? 15 mph.
7. Where do they go in winter? They hide in large groups under logs and rocks, fallen leaves. Sometimes they might even hide in a quiet corner of your house to stay warm and rest while they survive on their stored fat.
8. Can Ladybirds smell? Yes they smell with their feet.
9. Are all Ladybirds red? No, they can be many colours like yellow, pink and orange.
10. How long do ladybirds live? One year.