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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Ladybird, Ladybug, Ladycow......

Bein' a ladybug doesn't automatically make me a girl!
Where I come from, these adorable spotted beetles are called ladybirds. I think  Americans call them ladybugs. Growing up, I've always wondered if the ladybird was named for any particular female trait it possessed.

Interestingly, today I found out that the "lady" in ladybird refers to the Virgin Mary! Legend has it that crops in Europe during the Middle Ages were plagued by pests, so the farmers began praying to the Blessed Lady, the Virgin Mary. Soon, the farmers started seeing ladybirds in their fields, and the crops were miraculously saved from the pests. They associated their good fortune with the black and red beetles, and so began calling them lady beetles. In Germany, these insects go by the name Marienkafer, which translates as Mary beetles. The 7-spotted lady beetle is believed to be the first named after the red cloak Mary often pictured in biblical paintings; the red color represents her cloak, and the seven  black spots represent her seven graces and sorrows.

Here are 10 cool facts about ladybirds

1. Ladybirds aren't really bugs at all, they're beetles!

2. In France, one common name is “la bete a bon Dieu” which roughly translates as “God’s animal”.In Russia, a popular name is “Bozhya korovka” which translates as “God’s little cow”, no doubt referring to the beetles’ spots which are not unlike the kind you’d find on certain cows. In fact, one of the alternate early names for the beetle, before “ladybug” or “ladybird” in English was “ladycow”.

3. Even in cases where the ladybird isn’t explicitly linked with God, it was historically considered by many to be a good luck charm or good omen due to it generally being considered a helpful insect. For this reason, it was less-commonly known as the “golden-bug” in some parts of England.

4.  Ladybirds bleed from their knees when threatened.

5. Over its lifetime, a ladybird may consume as many as 5,000 aphids.

6. Ladybird larvae resemble tiny alligators, with elongated bodies and bumpy skin.

7. Scientists believe ladybirds may lay both fertile and infertile eggs.

8. Ladybird adults hibernate, usually gathering in large aggregations in protected places.

9. Ladybirds practice cannibalism.

10. You can't tell a ladybird's age by counting its spots.

Sources - http://insects.about.com/od/beetles/a/10-facts-ladybugs.htm
                http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2015/04/ladybugs-called/

9 comments:

betty said...

Yep, you are right, Veronica, they are called lady bugs up here and its always neat to see one :) I learned a lot of interesting facts about them that I didn't know before. That's a lot of aphids to eat over one's lifetime! Adorable cookies too!

betty

Jen said...

Interesting information about Ladybugs(birds). I didn't know half of it, so thanks for the fun science and history lessons ;o)

Cute creations! Cookies or clay?

Melanie said...

Sweet cookies! We have an event here called "The Ladybug Ball" where 10,000 ladybugs are released and you can bring them home to your garden. I also have a book from my childhood about ladybugs. My girls have requested that I read it to them over and over and over!

Bernadyn said...

What interesting info, I had no idea where their name came from but fun to know! These are adorable!

Melinda said...

They bleed from their knees???
Ladycow is so funny!

Christine | Where The Smiles Have Been said...

Wow, this is some great trivia here! I had no idea about nearly all of this, and I've only ever heard them called lady bugs....it's crazy they have so many names, not to mention that whole bleeding from the knees stuff and everything else! I've always heard too that you should never kill one because they are good luck. Thank you so much for sharing this with us at Merry Monday! We hope you'll join us again this Sunday evening! :)

alissa apel said...

The cookies are so cute! I like lady bugs. They are so much more friendly than Asian Beetles. I didn't realize that they practice cannibalism. Crazy!

Bev Carter said...

Wow, this was so informative. I didn't know all those things about lady bugs. The cookies are adorable.
Thanks for linking up to Turn It Up Tuesday,
Bev

Third Culture Family said...

Wait...I'm still stuck on #1. Beetles aren't bugs?!

We do call them ladybugs in America, I still prefer it to ladybird.

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