Why Do Ladybugs Have Spots? Do Dragonflies Bite?


This week, we're getting out our bug nets to look at something considerably smaller than us. We're talking about dragonflies and ladybugs. And we're going to be joined by someone. We've talked to before on an episode. We did about moths. I'm kept McFarland with a Remote Center Frigo Studies Research Biologist and I like to study insects and all kinds of other flying things. Why in the world do you like to study insects of all the creatures you could study? Well you know. I've studied birds and I've studied mammals, but insects to in my world. Everything you can think of. That's in the movies insects do it. They do strange things that we'd never imagined possible, and and it just excites me to go out there and find out what they're doing. Strange things like what lift something that would be like US lifting a car or leap tall buildings that kind of thing. Yeah. They're like the Superman the animal world, they can do all of things that we couldn't dream of Fahd of the sky for hundreds of feet. Fly Long distances. Long distances like three thousand mile sometimes longer than we never imagined swim underwater for long periods of time. I mean you name it. They do it so. The water and walk on the ceilings. Yeah, so it's just crazy things they do. There are so many kinds of insects estimates range between two million and thirty million different types of insects. If you count up the total number of these animals themselves, scientists think there are ten Quintillo individual insects on our planet. But we can't do an episode about all of them. Just think how long that would be. We're going to focus on to cool types of insects. You have sent us questions about dragonflies and ladybugs, but even those are categories of insects with lots of different species within them, as we'll find out more about later, but first. Let's dive into some of your questions. My Name's illegal. I live in Seattle Washington in my question is. Why do ladybugs have spots? Claire. I am six years old. I live in rent. Would Missouri and My question is how do ladybugs get their spots I Aria that result I live grateful or Kaleida it by question is how to ladybugs have spots well. Here's the interesting thing about ladybugs. There's a lot of different kinds of ladybugs and the ones that we usually think of are the ones that are red with black spots or sometimes a little white spots on them. And that represents maybe you. A quarter of the species of ladybugs, there's a whole bunch of other ladybugs that are black, Brown, red white, even some kind of other colors mixed in like yellows, and so the traditional thing we think of the ladybugs of the ones that are black and red, but there's all kinds of others that have all kinds of other patterns and colors associated with them how they get their spots. I'm not really sure how they exactly get their spouse, but one of the things is spots. Spots are the patterns are probably on them, so that is a warning to other insects or even birds that they might not want to eat them, because they might taste poorly, and so it's a way to defend themselves against being eaten by birds or other insects to some types of ladybugs have a certain number of spots and others have a different number, or could you know the same kind of lady bug lined up ten different individual bugs. You'd get ten different spot patterns. The answer is yes. It happens, both so there are lady bugs that have certain number of spots in evac through even named after that, so there's a native lady bug in North America called. The nine spotted lady bug, and it has nine actually, and there's the seven spotted lady bug, and it usually has seven spots. There's a twenty spotted lady bug, and you get the picture. There's different kinds of ladybugs that have different amount of spots, but sometimes within those groups they can have a variety of spots, so there's one. One kind of Lady Bug comes from Asia called the Asian ladybugs that's been introduced. It's been brought here in an outlives. North America and sometimes it can have almost no spots, and sometimes it can have maybe a dozen or more spots on it, so it's really variable. Compared to say, the nine spotted lady bug, which almost always has nine spots, and we have listeners and I think every continent. EXCEPT ANTARCTICA, we haven't gotten a question from Antarctica and do ladybugs also live on every continent except Antarctica. I'm pretty sure they are on every continent, except Antarctica. Yes, and that brings us to this question. Hello, my name is Hallelujah I live in. Rwanda CA golly. My question is. How many different types of ladybugs are there? There are over five thousand different species or types of ladybugs in the world. And as Kent said, it's not just the spots that vary, their colors can vary, too, but those colors are basically always there to warn predators that the lady bug will taste terrible now. Some of you are probably wondering why they're called ladybugs. Anyway or maybe you aren't even sure what insect were actually talking about. Not everyone calls them ladybugs for example. If you live in the United Kingdom you might call them, lady, birds or Ladybird Beetles and Kent says he actually doesn't like the name Lady Bug because they're Beatles, not bugs, so that's right now and they're not all ladies.

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