More questions from our first grade class:

Why do ladybugs (ladybirds) have black spots?  Besides the "normal" ones that are red with many black spots, what other sorts of ladybugs are there?

Thanks, 
1C

Hi there,

I think many scientists agree that the spots on ladybugs are probably used as a warning to predators like birds. Bright red or orange with black spots stand out vividly. Many other animals do this - frogs, butterflies/moths, wasps, etc. A lot of these animals are either poisonous or very bitter and predators remember not to eat anything with vivid colors.

As for the different types of ladybugs, there are a lot! There are the classic red with seven black spots, orange with up to twenty or so spots, black with two or four red spots, just plain red or orange with no spots, and many more.

Last edited by Manabu Sakamoto (30th Jun 2007 12:11:40)