Various larger species of Coccinellidae attack caterpillars and other beetle larvae. Several genera feed on various insects or their eggs; for example, Coleomegilla species are significant predators of the eggs and larvae of moths such as species of Spodoptera and the Plutellidae. Larvae and eggs of ladybirds, either their own or of other species, can also be an important cannibalistic food resource when alternative prey are scarce. As a family, the Coccinellidae used to be regarded as purely carnivorous, but they are now known to be far more omnivorous than previously thought, both as a family and in individual species; examination of gut contents of apparently specialist predators commonly yield residues of pollen and other plant materials. Besides the prey they favour, most predatory coccinellids include other items in their diets, including honeydew, pollen, plant sap, nectar, and various fungi. The significance of such nonprey items in their diets is still under investigation and discussion.

Coccinellidae ( / ˌ k ɒ k s ɪ ˈ n ɛ l ɪ d iː / ) [3] is a widespread family of small beetles ranging in size from 0.8 to 18 mm (0.03 to 0.71 inches). [4] The family is commonly known as ladybugs in North America , and ladybirds in Britain and other parts of the English-speaking world. Entomologists widely prefer the names ladybird beetles or lady beetles as these insects are not classified as true bugs . [5]

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