There was a slight aquatic emergency in our pool yesterday afternoon when I rescued a bright ladybug from the top of the water by skimming her up with a leaf. After placing it down and watching her for a minute, I picked up my iphone and thought I’d try my hand at nature photography. Most of the pictures were blurry (my specialty) but all them revealed two golden glowing “eyes” on the ladybugs little face, I guess from the reflection of the brilliant sun we had yesterday. I thought I would share a couple to bring us all a little luck!
Curiosity got the better of me so I did some online research about why ladybugs are considered lucky, and I came up with some interesting facts:
Ladybugs aren’t really bugs at all, they’re beetles!
Entomologically speaking, the term bugs applies to insects of the order Hemiptera. Ladybugs belong to the order Coleoptera, or beetles. Europeans have called these dome-backed beetles by the name ladybirds, or ladybird beetles, for over 500 years. In America, the name ladybird was replaced by ladybug. Scientists usually prefer the common name lady beetles.
The “Lady” in ladybug 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 ladybugs 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.
Ladybugs bleed from their knees when threatened. Startle a ladybug, and the foul-smelling fluid will seep from its leg joints, leaving yellow stains on the surface below. Potential predators may be deterred by the vile mix of alkaloids, and equally repulsed by the sight of a seemingly sickly beetle.
Also, Ladybugs may pretend they are dead and fall to the ground if threatened.
Four ladybugs were sent into space in 1999 on NASA’s space shuttle. Ladybugs and their main food, aphids, were sent to a zero-gravity environment to study how the aphids could get away from the ladybugs without being able to jump using gravity.
Not only adorable, but interesting too. Have a lucky weekend!
Ladybug information from: 10 Cool Facts about Ladybugs