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Ladybug Facts and Legends

Updated on September 10, 2012
A yellow Ladybug
A yellow Ladybug | Source
Ladybug larvae
Ladybug larvae | Source

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.

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. | Source

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

When was the last time you saw or held a Ladybug?

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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Fascinating look at this beautiful insect.

    • That Grrl profile image

      Laura Brown 4 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      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.

    • profile image

      Gene 4 years ago

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

    • jennzie profile image

      jennzie 5 years ago from Lower Bucks County, PA

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

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

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

    • m0rd0r profile image

      Stoill Barzakov 5 years ago from Sofia, Bulgaria

      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 profile image

      mejohnson 5 years ago

      Great photos & information. Voted up.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      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!

    • profile image

      LikaMarie 5 years ago

      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.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

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

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 5 years ago from Massachusetts

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

      Vote up and more !!!

    • jennzie profile image

      jennzie 5 years ago from Lower Bucks County, PA

      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.

    • christin53 profile image

      Ann-Christin 5 years ago from UK

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

    • Kate Mc Bride profile image

      Kate McBride 5 years ago from Donegal Ireland

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

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      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 profile image

      craftybegonia 5 years ago from Southwestern, United States

      Those are wonderful little bugs!