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How Do Ladybugs Protect Themselves?

Ladybugs protect themselves by emitting a foul-tasting fluid from their leg joints. This is intended to signal to predators that the insects will not be appealing to consume. Ladybugs are known for their bright red and dotted appearance, but their distinctive coloring is also another means of protecting themselves from predators, who see red hues and dark spots as indicators of a bitter taste or even poison. If ladybugs are still threatened, they may fold their legs up and secrete a minimal amount of blood, a process known as reflex bleeding, to fake being dead in the hopes of getting predators to move on.

More about ladybugs:

  • In Sweden, the ladybug is referred to as “good God’s little fairy” and Swedish folklore states that if a female has a ladybug crawl across her hand, she will be married within one year.

  • Approximately 80,000 ladybugs are estimated to be able to fit into a one gallon (3.79 liter) container.

  • Ladybugs’ wings are made of chitin, the same substance that comprises human fingernails, and the average ladybug beats its wings around 85 times per second.

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