Ladybug Flying Mechanism Explained: This Is How It Flies | Kidadl


Ladybug Flying Mechanism Explained: This Is How It Flies

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Ladybirds or ladybugs are fascinating and colorful creatures that never fail to amuse us.

In our childhood, most of us would have been bemused by the dots present on the wings of these insects. We may have spent hours admiring the images or searching for them in the garden.

Even after growing up, most of us don't realize that ladybugs are actually a form of a beetle. Hence, the red wings that we see in the images are actually called elytra that protect the insect's body. However, it's most likely that we never saw ladybugs fly, as when humans are nearby, the bugs choose to crawl in a site. But, you may have at times seen it spreading the wings for no reason. This guide will help to explain the ladybug flying mechanism along with interesting facts about the wings used while taking flight.

If you like this article, why not learn out more about how many legs does a ladybug have and ladybug lifespan.

Can ladybugs fly?

When you see a ladybug sitting on a leaf or any other surface, it's often hard to believe the creatures can fly. The main reason is the hard outer shell which gives these insects a non-flying look. However, ladybugs can definitely fly and do that very well.

Apart from the hard shell or elytra, we might even miss the ladybirds flying as it's so fast. Like any other beetles, even the ladybugs fly. However, you may often find it sitting quietly in a space without much movement. When in the garden, ladybugs usually fly for short distances, mainly for a few minutes when there's prey around like aphids. That's why most of the time, you can find a ladybug on a plant or even on the ground. So, when you see ladybugs fly, it can mean that there's food nearby. And, like many other insect species, the ladybug is able to fly as well as crawl, and it uses both techniques of transportation according to necessity.

How do ladybugs fly?

The most fascinating things about the ladybugs have to be the second set of gossamer wings tucked underneath the red hard shells or elytra. When it needs to take a flight, the elytra hinges to the side and the long hind wings come out, and the insects start flapping these wings to take a flight.

You might be surprised to know that these soft wings of a ladybug can flap around 85 times per second. And, once the flight is over, the wings of these beetles will get back inside the elytra to remain protected for the next flying session. Studies have found out that the average speed of ladybugs is around 37 mph (59.5 kph) which is fast, but it's slower compared to other insects. Because the wings need to unfold from under the elytra, it does take these insects some time to take off from the ground into the air, hence the lower speed. However, if you ever get the opportunity, do watch a ladybug flying away as it looks fascinating, especially due to the colorful elytra. It's interesting to know that ladybugs have the ability to fly over a height of 3,600 ft (1,097.3 m), and if needed, they can remain in the air for a time of two hours.

Ladybug flies over a meadow

How many wings do ladybugs have?

Ladybugs have two sets of wings. One is the colorful hard-shell or elytra that are visible to us, and another pair of wings is housed under them to use in flight.

When it comes to ladybugs, we are all aware of the bright red body that's covered in beautiful dots. You might be surprised to know that ladybugs are actually a part of the beetles' group. Hence, like them, the ladybug also has a pair of wings that are hard, known as elytra. And, under it, you can find a pair of longer and softer wings that help the ladybug to fly. The elytra also protect the soft bodies of ladybugs from becoming easy food to birds or other animals. Moreover, it's said that the abdominal muscles of ladybugs play an important role in controlling the wings. On top of that, Japanese scientists have studied the wings to determine that the origami folds in it do improve flight in the air as well as to fold the wings inside the elytra when the ladybug lands.

Why do ladybugs make a sound when flying?

The simplest reason for the ladybugs making noises is due to the flapping wings.

As we have mentioned before, ladybugs have a superb rate of flapping their wings which can go up to 85 times per second. And, this begins soon after taking flight. So, similar to other insects, when the wings of a ladybug flap, it creates the sound. However, apart from the ladybug flying sound, these insects do make many other interesting sounds. The most notable one is the buzzing sound, which can often be heard when the ladybugs fly past you.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for ladybug flying then why not take a look at ladybug colors, or ladybug facts?

<p>With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature.&nbsp;</p>

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