Ladybug, Or Beetle Of The Holy Virgin Mary. Benefit, Attraction. Against Aphids. Kinds. A Photo

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Ladybug, Or Beetle Of The Holy Virgin Mary. Benefit, Attraction. Against Aphids. Kinds. A Photo
Ladybug, Or Beetle Of The Holy Virgin Mary. Benefit, Attraction. Against Aphids. Kinds. A Photo

Video: Ladybug, Or Beetle Of The Holy Virgin Mary. Benefit, Attraction. Against Aphids. Kinds. A Photo

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Video: Aphids vs Ladybugs 2023, January
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All the peoples of the world these beetles enjoy great sympathy and love. This is evidenced by the names of Coccinellidae in different countries - they are always respectful and affectionate. Marienkaefer (beetle of the Holy Virgin Mary) - in Germany, Austria, Switzerland. Ladybird (lady bird) - in England, USA, Australia, South Africa and other English-speaking countries. Lorita, Chinita, Tortolita, Mariquita - in Latin America. Vaquita de San Antonio (Saint Anthony's ladybug) - in Argentina. Slunecko (sun) - in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Sonechko (sun) - in Ukraine and Belarus. Bobo surkhon (red-bearded grandfather) - in Tajikistan. The word "godly" in the Russian name of Coccinellidae probably comes from what people noticed long ago: where there are many of these beetles, there is always a good harvest.

ladybug
ladybug

In children, the ladybug is considered a very gullible creature. In Russia, England and Denmark there is a game - a child catches a ladybug and reads a poem to her:

Ladybug, fly to heaven, Bring me some bread.

Black and white, Only not burnt.

or

Ladybug, fly to the sky, There your children eat sweets, One at a time, And you have none.

If the ladybird flies away, it means she believed. In England, the rhyme is more violent:

Ladybug, fly to the sky

Your house is on fire, your children are alone

(from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain)

In Denmark, children ask Ladybug to ask God for good morning weather.

Family of Ladybugs, or Coccinellids

Coccinellids (Coccinellidae) are one of the large families of the order Coleoptera, numbering more than 5000 species, of which about 2000 are found in the Palaearctic. On the territory of the former USSR, 221 species were recorded, of which about 100 live in Russia. Small beetles - the body length of an adult (an adult insect) is from 1 to 18 mm.

The body is usually rounded-oval, strongly convex, almost hemispherical (the underside is almost flat or slightly convex). In some groups, the body is oblong-oval, flattened to one degree or another. The surface of the body is often bare, less often it is covered with hairs. The head is small, it can be extended in the longitudinal or transverse direction. The eyes are large, often with a notch at the leading edge. Antennae 8-11 segmented, short or of medium length, with or without a club (more often). The anterior and mesothorax are transverse. The metasternum is wide, almost square, much longer than the mesothorax. Legs of moderate length, covered with dense hairs. The tarsi are hidden 4-segmented (seem to be 3-segmented, since the 3rd segment is small and hidden in the lobes of the 2nd), and only in representatives of the tribe Lithophilini the tarsi are clearly 4-segmented.

Pronotum wider than head, convex, transverse, with differently shaped notch at the anterior margin. Often - with spots or a pattern of merged spots. Elytra are red, yellow, brownish with black or white spots, which sometimes merge to form a variable pattern; or elytra are black with red or yellow spots. The abdomen is almost completely flat ventrally, much flatter from above than the elytra, and consists of 5-6 visible sternites. Sexual dimorphism is weak. Sometimes females and males differ in pattern on the pronotum.

Larva and adult ladybugs
Larva and adult ladybugs

The eggs are usually oval, slightly tapered towards the ends. In species of the tribes Stethorini and Chilocorini, they are short, almost round. Eggs are yellow, orange, whitish; the surface is often pebbled. Ovipositions are usually dense, eggs are arranged in more or less regular rows, touching each other by their sides. In some individuals of Harmonia sedecimnotata, ovipositions are "loose", eggs are spaced apart from each other at a distance equal to 1-1.5 egg diameters.

The larvae are more or less campode-shaped, elongated, sometimes flat and oval. In larvae of ladybirds feeding on worms, the body is covered with waxy filaments of white color. The larvae are often variegated, the pattern forms orange, yellow or white spots. The body surface is covered with hairs, bristles, warts and other outgrowths. The larvae go through 4 instars in their development.

Pupae are free, attached to the substrate by the remnants of the exuvium of the larva. They are often brightly colored with black, yellow and white spots. The tribe Coccinellini is characterized by an open type - the pupa is located in the larval skin bursting from the dorsal side. Chilocorini has a semi-closed type - larval covers partially burst and expose only the back of the pupa. In Hyperaspini, pupae are found under the larval skin.

The bright color of ladybirds - red or yellow with black dots - has a protective function, warning possible predators, such as insectivorous birds, that ladybugs have a very unpleasant taste. If you touch a ladybug, it will release a drop of bitter, corrosive liquid from the leg joints and other parts of the body. This liquid, usually yellow in color, stains the unwary hand and leaves an unpleasant odor on the skin for a long time.

Swarm of ladybugs
Swarm of ladybugs

Groups and types of ladybugs

In trophic terms, the following groups are distinguished in coccinellids:

  • aphidophages (feed on aphids),
  • coccidophages (feed on scale insects and scale insects),
  • myxoentomophages (feed on a wide range of insects),
  • acariphages (feed on ticks),
  • phytophages (feed on plant foods).

In turn, phytophages are subdivided into:

  • phyllophages that feed on leaves, less often flowers or fruits;
  • palynophages feeding on plant pollen;
  • mycetophages feeding on the mycelium of fungi.

The vast majority of ladybirds are predators. Herbivorous species are most widely represented in the tropics of all continents and in the subtropics of Southeast Asia. There are several important agricultural pests among them. In Russia, there are 3 types of herbivorous cows. In the Far East, a 28-point potato ladybird (Henosepilachna vigintioctomaculata), previously attributed to the genus Epilachna, seriously damages the crops of potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes and other vegetable crops. In southern Russia, the alfalfa ladybug (Subcoccinella vigintiquatuorpunctata) sometimes damages alfalfa and sugar beet crops. In the Smolensk, Saratov and other regions of central Russia and southern Russia, the waterless ladybug occasionally damages alfalfa, clover and sweet clover (Cynegetis impunctata).

ladybugs
ladybugs

The benefits of a ladybug - a predator

All other Russian species of ladybugs are predators. Beetles and larvae are very voracious and, destroying large quantities of such dangerous pests as aphids, leaf flies, scale insects, scale insects and ticks, bring enormous benefits to agriculture. The most common species of the family, the seven-spotted ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata), introduced from the Palaearctic to America to combat local and imported pests, is also very useful.

The most brilliant pages in the history of the biological method of pest control in agriculture are inscribed precisely with the use of coccinellids. Suffice it to recall the phenomenal success that was obtained about 140 years ago, as a result of the introduction from Australia of the ladybug of rhodolia(Rodolia cardinalis) to California to control the Australian fluffy worm (Icerya purchasi), which was accidentally brought in with planting material. It turned out that at home in Australia, this worm behaves quite decently, does not do much harm to plants. And abroad, with him did not become weak. Plants died, one might say, on the vine. The same thing happened with orange trees in Egypt, Italy, France, South America, Ceylon, India and other countries. Not a single country where citrus fruits grew has left this malicious pest with its attention.

The gardeners sounded the alarm. Scientists got involved in the problem. It turned out that in Australia the worm has an enemy - a ladybug called Rhodolia (Rodolia cardinalis). They feed on worms and keep their numbers low enough to cause no significant harm.

Several dozen beetles were urgently taken to California and released into the gardens. The beetles bred, and after a few years the pest was over. Following California, Rhodolia was sent with honors to the countries where the Australian worm raged. Everywhere Rhodolia was putting them in order.

ladybug
ladybug

Now, without any exaggeration, we can say that the very existence of citrus fruits, as a culture, is due to this ladybug.

In the citrus farms of our country, the Australian worm was not found by the beginning of the twentieth century, but in the 1920s it was accidentally brought (apparently from Europe during the civil war) first to Abkhazia, and then to other regions. The Australian worm harmed not only lemons and tangerines, but also the Australian acacia, which is popularly called "mimosa". To get rid of the pest, specialists were urgently sent to Egypt for the ladybug. At first, beetles were bred in greenhouses near St. Petersburg and only then were released in Sukhumi. We had to check how our climate affects this ladybug.

The effect was the same as elsewhere - the ladybug quickly dealt with the worm, saved not only citrus fruits, but also "mimosa", which women are presented with on March 8. Our climate is harsh enough for Rhodolia (even in Abkhazia), so most of the beetles die in winter. These predators had to be specially bred in artificial conditions and then released into nature.

According to De Bach (1964), out of 225 successful cases of biological pest control in 51 cases, the results were obtained using coccinellids.

ladybugs
ladybugs

The employee of the ZIN RAS V.P. Semyanov developed methods of breeding, long-term (up to 1 year) storage and methods of using incubated eggs, larvae and imago of the tropical ladybug Leis dimidiata (Fabr.) To control aphids in greenhouses. An original technology has also been created for the rapid suppression of local foci of aphids in greenhouses (even with a very high pest population) by using Leis dimidiata larvae. This type of coccinellids can be successfully used to combat aphids and in the open field (at an air temperature of at least +20 degrees), as well as to destroy aphids on indoor plants in residential premises and offices where the use of pesticides is undesirable.

In the Cocinellidae family, 7 subfamilies are now usually distinguished:

  • Sticholotidinae (= Sticholotinae)
  • Coccidulinae
  • Tetrabrachinae (= Lithophilinae) - sometimes included in Coccidulinae
  • Scymninae
  • Chilocorinae
  • Coccinellinae
  • Epilachninae

The Coccinellid species found on the territory of the former USSR belong to 11 tribes and 44 genera.

Wintering ladybug

For wintering, ladybugs look for secluded places among dense vegetation, leaf litter, under the bark of dry trees, etc. or indoors, sheds, sheds. They often fly into houses, nest between doors, double window frames, curtain folds. If you find such wintering ladybirds, think about their benefits, their future role in reducing the number of harmful insects in the garden - it takes very little time to put the ladybugs in a jar and take them to the garden shed, move them down the fence or other secluded place, where they can end their hibernation. Some ladybugs have become gregarious, hibernating together, in large groups, sometimes several hundred individuals. The rationale behind this behavior is not known, but it certainly provides a colorful look.

Swarm of ladybugs
Swarm of ladybugs

How to attract a ladybug to your garden?

First of all, in order to at least preserve those beneficial insects that are on your site, you need to exclude the use of poisons (pesticides).

Of course, you can just catch ladybirds and release them in the garden. It is best to catch ladybug larvae because they are more voracious. But all the same, so that you do not have to make such catches every time you are attacked by harmful insects, you need to take care of the bait of ladybugs to your site.

For bait, you can plant angelica (angelica), dill, or leave dandelion, yarrow, and other umbellate and small / complex-flowered plants in bloom somewhere.

If you have a hedge, there is free space, even behind the fence of your garden - plant there plants, bushes, especially favorite aphids, and never use pesticides there. For example, plant a red elderberry - where there are many aphids, the larvae of ladybirds and other beneficial insects will also be preserved there.

Ladybug larva
Ladybug larva

Tansy, buckwheat and many legumes are also suitable for bait.

To ensure the presence of flowering plants that are attractive to beneficial insects for the whole season, you need to start with those that bloom earlier, for example, buckwheat, which will be replaced by odorous dill, and so on. You should grow tansy, sweet clover and navel, which bloom for a long time from year to year.

The task of using beneficial insects is not to completely destroy pests, but to control their number.

By creating conditions that would combine a favorable environment for beneficial insects and decorativeness, it is possible to achieve a natural balance between the number of harmful and beneficial insects.

Artificial food

For the best result, the housing provided should attract the ladybirds to stay and breed in the garden. Nectar, honeydew pollen stimulate their reproductive process. If there is little food, adult insects can scatter, fly to other places. Therefore, ladybugs can be fed by spraying Wheast on the plants.

Artificial food called "Wheast" is a combination of whey and yeast. Wheast is available as a dry powder. Wheast provides all the nutrients necessary for the growth and reproduction of ladybugs, lacewings and other beneficial insects. Wheast powder is mixed with sugar and water 50/50 and used to grow insects. US university students have shown that spraying a field with a Wheast / sugar / water mixture significantly increases the reproduction of beneficial insects there.

Ladybug egg-laying
Ladybug egg-laying

Amateur gardeners can use other baits, including those used for feeding bees.

There are also special pheramon baits (attractants).

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