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Ladybug Facts and Legends

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A yellow Ladybug

A yellow Ladybug

Ladybug larvae

Ladybug larvae

Ladybugs in space!

In 1999, NASA sent Ladybugs and aphids up in the space shuttle to observe how the aphids' defense mechanisms would work without the presence of gravity.

Interesting facts about Ladybugs

People worldwide know of and admire the beautiful Ladybug (or as others may know the insect as, the Lady Beetle or the Ladybird). While the first color that comes to mind when most people think of the Ladybug is red, it comes in a variety of other shades as well, including orange, yellow, black, and pink. In fact, there are almost 5,000 species that exist throughout the globe.

Here are some more Ladybug facts that you may not have known:

  • The average lifespan of a Ladybug is two to three years.
  • Some Ladybugs may have as many as twenty spots, while others will have no spots at all (Some species also have stripes).
  • A female Ladybug will produce clusters of twenty to fifty eggs in the early spring and can lay as many as 1,000 eggs in her lifetime.
  • Ladybug larvae (babies) are actually larger than their adult counterparts- some say that they look like tiny alligators.
  • Ladybugs can eat up to approximately 5,000 aphids in their lifetime, which is why farmers have been using the insects as a method of controlling populations of crop-eating pests since the early 1900s.
  • If a Ladybug is attacked by a predator, it will secrete a foul-smelling yellow liquid (which is actually its blood). This is usually all it takes for the predator to change its mind.
  • The Ladybug's name was first coined in the Middle Ages when European farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary when pests began to destroy their crops. Ladybugs later came around and killed off the insects. The farmers, believing that they were an answer to their prayers, called them 'the beetles of Our Lady'.
  • When in flight, a Ladybug can beat its wings up to 85 times per second.
  • Ladybugs will actually eat each other when food is scarce.
  • Unlike many others insects, Ladybugs hibernate during the winter.
  • The color of a Ladybug's spots fades as it ages.
  • Ladybugs breathe through openings located at the sides of their bodies.
symbolism-of-the-lady-bug

Dress your baby as a Ladybug for Halloween!

The Ladybug's beauty and association with good luck makes it an appealing tattoo option.

The Ladybug's beauty and association with good luck makes it an appealing tattoo option.

Another fun fact

The Ladybug is the State Bug of Massachusetts.

Ladybug legend and lore

A number of superstitions relating to Ladybugs have popped up as well. The most well-known of these is that they bring good luck. On the contrary, it has been believed that anyone who harms or kills the beetle will bring misfortune unto himself or herself.

Other Ladybug legends:

  • If you hold a Ladybug while making a wish, the direction that it flies away indicates where the answer to your wish will come from.
  • In folk medicine, Ladybugs were ground up to cure toothaches, measles, stomach aches, and crying babies.
  • In Switzerland, the Ladybug is the baby-deliverer (just as the stork is in the US).
  • In Brussels, the number of spots on a Ladybug foretells how many children the person holding it will have.
  • Certain Asian cultures believe that Ladybugs can understand human languages.
  • In Belgium, it was believed that if a Ladybug crawled across a young woman's hand, she would be married within a year.
  • People believed that if a Ladybug with less than seven spots was seen, the harvest would be good for that season; if it had more than seven, there would be famine.
  • In Norway, if a man and a woman see a Ladybug at the same time, romance will blossom between them.
  • A Norse legend states that the Ladybug came to Earth riding on a bolt of lightening.
  • Legend says that if you find a Ladybug in your house, count the number of spots it has and that will be how many dollars you will find.
  • People in France believed that if a Ladybug landed on someone, it would take away whatever ailment the person had when it flew away.
  • The number of spots seen on a Ladybug indicates how many months it will be before one finds romance.
  • Many Bretons believe that the arrival of Ladybugs indicates fair weather.
  • In Ireland, the Ladybug is said to be a symbol of protection.



© Jennzie on HubPages, 2012

symbolism-of-the-lady-bug

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Comments

Alyssa from Ohio on May 11, 2018:

Oh this was so much fun! I didn't realize ladybugs came in so many different colors! Thank you for sharing these interesting facts. :)

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on August 26, 2015:

Fascinating look at this beautiful insect.

Laura Brown from Barrie, Ontario, Canada on April 01, 2013:

At this time of year it's been a while since I've seen a living ladybug. But, it will soon be the season for them to be crawling out of the woodwork, literally. I see thousands of them then.

Gene on January 10, 2013:

my bedroom is full of them , how do I get rid of them

Jenn (author) from Pennsylvania on September 18, 2012:

Thanks a lot for the comments, votes, and shares, everyone! :-)

Shasta Matova from USA on September 15, 2012:

I didn't know there were so many symbols and superstitions of lady bugs. I find it quite interesting. Voted up.

Stoill Barzakov from Sofia, Bulgaria on September 14, 2012:

I enjoyed reading.

We have a saying in Bulgaria, that when a lady bug lands on your hand, you should raise your index finger up and let her climb.

When she flies away from the top of your finger, go in the same direction the bug flew.

This is where you will find your significant half ;)

Voted up and funny

mejohnson on September 09, 2012:

Great photos & information. Voted up.

Sasha Kim on September 09, 2012:

This is a fantastic hub!! I loved all the facts and the legends were especially entertaining ^_^ I love love ladybugs, especially since they protect my garden from aphids and such. Voted a bunch, pinned and shared!

LikaMarie on September 08, 2012:

Thank you for a great hub. I am sending this to my 12 year old son, who is my young entomologist... I swear he knows more than I do about this stuff.

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on September 07, 2012:

Thank you for sharing this information. One more legend I was brought up with: If a ladybug lands on you it is good luck.

Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on September 07, 2012:

Great interesting and informative hub on ladybugs enjoyed reading all these interesting facts. Well done !

Vote up and more !!!

Jenn (author) from Pennsylvania on September 07, 2012:

Thank for stopping by and taking the time to comment, Craftybegonia, MelChi, Kate, and Christin! I'm not really a big fan of insects (particularly beetles), but Ladybugs are an exception.

Ann-Christin from UK on September 07, 2012:

I love Ladybirds but I haven't seen many this year probably because it's been a poor summer.

Kate McBride from Donegal Ireland on September 07, 2012:

This is a great hub.I learned so much about what we call ladybirds here in Ireland.Thanks for sharing:-)

Melanie Chisnall from Cape Town, South Africa on September 07, 2012:

They are beautiful little creatures! I used to have one come and visit me at my office window a few times...I'm sure it wasn't the same one, but it was nice to think that it was.

Thanks for sharing these interesting facts about them. So many interesting folk tales about them as well. Lovely piece!

craftybegonia from Southwestern, United States on September 06, 2012:

Those are wonderful little bugs!