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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

Lovebug: 21 Facts You Won't Believe!

How many amazing lovebug facts do you already know? Brush up on your knowledge with these unique and fun bits of info!

Lovebugs might be popularly known as a romantic nickname, but where does it come from? It comes from the insect lovebug! During mating season, the male and the female lovebug can stay attached for days, if not weeks. It is this joining at the hip, so to speak, that has given these adorable bugs a permanent place in common parlance. In fact, due to this mating tendency, they are also called the honeymoon bug or the double-headed bug. The lovebug distribution is all over central and South America, with these animals even able to fly while stuck together. The University of Florida, in particular, has ample information as well as pictures of the lovebug, which you can check out down below!

There are so many fun facts to know and learn about the lovebug. If you want to know all about this interesting fly and all about their lifestyle, diet, relations, and more - all you have to do is read ahead! There are also other interesting bugs for you to look at, such as the green stink bug and wheel bug.

Lovebug Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a lovebug?

Plecia nearctica is a type of insect that belongs to the genus Plecia.

What class of animal does a lovebug belong to?

Lovebugs belong to the class of Arthropoda (insects) and order Diptera.

How many lovebugs are there in the world?

Millions of lovebugs can be found in a single location. But the global population of this lovebug is undescribed.

Where does a lovebug live?

Plecia nearctica lives in the savanna. The lovebug range is widespread, according to scientists, although they are most prevalent in Texas, Alabama, Florida, and Louisiana.

What is a lovebug's habitat?

Lovebugs, both adult and larval, prefer grassy environments. Plecia nearctica, on the other hand, is a robust flyer that may be found in practically any habitat. The lovebug habitat in freshly cut fields, animal meadows, and decomposing vegetation in particular. Adult love-bugs have been found several kilometers off in the Gulf Coast. Red-shouldered bugs can be found in high numbers in regions where their host plants are present, such as gardens, yards, or riparian environments.

Who do lovebugs live with?

Lovebugs are social insects. Each swarm of lovebugs may number in the millions, and each year there will be two large swarms. One swarm in May and the other swarm in September. Each swarm lasting four to five weeks.

How long does a lovebug live?

Black-bodied flies, lovebugs, like other bugs, have a limited lifespan. Adult male's lovebug life span is two to five days after transformation, while adult females stay up to seven days.

How do they reproduce?

Female lovebugs can lay up to 350 eggs at a time, and they do so regularly near decaying debris on the upper layer of soil surface. According to the flight season, lovebug eggs hatch in two to four days. The larvae begin eating on decaying material surrounding them, such as rotting plants on the ground or other organic matter, once the eggs are hatched. They survive and stay in the soil till they reach the pupa phase. During the hotter seasons, lovebug larvae stay in the larvae stage for about 120 days, while during the wintertime, they stay in the larvae stage for around 240 days.

Lovebugs are prepared to start copulating and reproducing once they have reached adulthood. Male lovebugs develop from the pupa initially and hover around till female lovebugs develop. Lovebugs begin mating soon after the females emerge. When a male love bug copulates with a female, they will stay together until they are fully impregnated. Before the female detaches, deposits her eggs, and expires, she copulates for two to three days.  After coupling, the male lovebug dies and is hauled around by a female love insect until she deposits her eggs. When they mate, the male gives the female nutrition so she can create healthy eggs. Males and females of the species survive for three to four days on average.

What is their conservation status?

Lovebug species belong to the family Bibionidae, are not endangered, and are not included in any conservation efforts.

Lovebug Fun Facts

What do lovebugs look like?

Sexual dimorphism exists in lovebugs. Males are significantly smaller than females but have significantly larger eyes. Lovebugs have branching wings and seven to 12 segments on each antenna. The majority of adults' bodies appear black, with a smidgeon of red behind its head.

Plecia nearctica (lovebug), black-bodied flies, is a type of march fly. The honeymoon fly is also referred to as the double-headed bug, telephone bug, and kissybug.

How cute are they?

Lovebugs, as their name suggests, don't remain single for long. Lovebugs are charming little insects with brilliant redheads and black-feathered bodies that are frequently found linked end-to-end, creating a heart shape.

How do they communicate?

Males swarming over breeding locations dart out and 'strike' any flying insect or item. If it hasn't made touch with a female, the male returns to hovering. To discover solitary females, males utilize physical contact, optical and aural signals. To discover suitable ovipositing sites, females employ chemical smells and visual cues.

How big is a lovebug?

The lovebug size is about 0.23-0.35 in (5.8-8.8 mm). The Kudzu bug length measures up to 0.17-0.25 in (4.3-6.3 mm). Therefore, lovebugs are greater than Kudzu bugs in length.

How fast can lovebugs move?

Although the lovebug's movement speed is unclear, they are frequently spotted flying in two major swarms during their mating seasons. Adults of the western conifer seed bug could fly and crawl, albeit they travel leisurely. It flies both during the day and at night.

How much does a lovebug weigh?

The lovebug (Plecia nearctica) with bright red head, weight ranges between 0.0002-0.0008 oz (5.6-22.6 mg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is not any special title for male and female species of lovebug belong to the genus Plecia.

What would you call a baby lovebug?

The baby lovebug (order: Diptera) doesn't have any specific name.

What do they eat?

As adults, the Plecia nearctica (lovebug) diet is fully reliant on pollen and nectar for nutrition. Lovebugs are assumed to eat most of the day and finish feeding in the early evening. The larvae of lovebugs feed on decaying plants. Lovebugs in the early stages of development cannot survive for more than a day without sustenance.

Are they harmful?

Airborne lovebugs perish in great numbers on car windshields, radiator grills, and hoods whenever vehicles travel at incredible velocities because insects fly in big quantities near roadways. If the remnants are kept for a long time, they become quite tough to remove from the car. If not removed soon, the female's egg bulk typically resulted in holes and softened in the paint and chrome of the car. They can't kill humans.

Would they make a good pet?

Lovebugs (genus: Plecia) are mostly a bother. They are not dangerous and so don't bite or sting or spread diseases. However, they might damage car paints. Therefore, it is not advisable to keep this nuisance bug (mostly in the South and Mexico)  as a pet. But pill bugs are small crustaceans that are frequently kept as pets among children who like seeing them curl into some tiny ball whenever disturbed.

Did you know...

According to popular belief, the lovebug (order: Diptera) was allegedly designed by the University of Florida following botched genetics research. They arrived in the Florida Panhandle in 1949 after migrating from Central America.

In contrast to the urban legend that the University of Florida produced the lovebug by modifying DNA to manage mosquito populations, research revealed that migration caused the lovebug's entrance into Florida and other southeastern states.

The larvae of lovebugs live on partially degraded vegetation in the environment and are hence helpful to humans.

Do lovebugs bite?

Because of lovebugs in-flight mating, humans are not bitten or stung by adult lovebugs. Although their activity and common name are funny, their enormous numbers could be a nuisance. Vehicles that pass through several swarms of lovebugs may be harmed.

Why are love bugs stuck together?

Since they're mating, love bugs (family: Bibionidae) are frequently found in couples or 'stuck' jointly. An adult love bug has only three to four days to survive, and those days are largely spent mating. Lovebugs have always been around; however, they are more numerous throughout the mating season.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these ladybird facts and stick bug facts for kids pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable forest bug coloring pages.

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