Coccinellidae is a family of beetles, known variously as ladybirds (UK, Ireland, Australia, South Africa), ladybugs (North America) or lady beetles (preferred by some scientists). Lesser-used names include ladyclock, lady cow, and lady fly.
They are small insects, ranging from 1 mm to 10 mm (0.04 to 0.4 inches), and are commonly yellow, orange, or scarlet with small black spots on their wing covers, with black legs, head and antennae. A very large number of species are mostly or entirely black, grey, or brown and may be difficult for non-entomologists to recognize as coccinellids (and, conversely, there are many small beetles that are easily mistaken as such, like tortoise beetles).
Coccinellids are found worldwide, with over 5,000 species described, more than 450 native to North America alone.
A few species are pests in North America and Europe, but they are generally considered useful insects as many species feed on aphids or scale insects, which are pests in gardens, agricultural fields, orchards, and similar places. The Mall of America, for instance, releases thousands of ladybugs into its indoor park as a natural means of pest control for its gardens.
A common myth is that the number of spots on its back indicates its age. This myth is not true.
All of the above information came from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia