definition courtesy of: http://www.amentsoc.org/insects/glossary/terms/ladybird
Ladybirds are beetles within the family Coccinellidae. They have round bodies and their elytra (wing cases) are often brightly coloured and adorned with spots. The bright colours are used to warn predators that they are unpalatable and, when attacked, they also ‘reflex bleed’.
Ladybirds are usually considered beneficial insects as both adults and larvae eat large numbers of aphids. Ladybirds are even sold as biological control agents.
Ladybirds often overwinter in large numbers.These aggregations can be a nuisance when they gather within houses. (Don´t I know it, just waiting for them to “gather” in my bathroom again :-))
The name ladybird comes from the Middle Ages. The beetles were called the “beetle of Our Lady” because, at that time, the Virgin Mary was often depicted in paintings wearing red clothing.
Still, I think they are cute, remind me of my childhood somehow.