How can we not like the sight of cute little lady bugs?! They are so tiny and colorful! There were lots in Gatineau Park and I took a few pictures. Here are interestings facts about these little creatures!
How did the ladybug get its name?
A. In Europe, during the Middle Ages, insects were destroying the crops, so the Catholic farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary for help. Soon the Ladybugs came, ate the plant-destroying pests and saved the crops! The farmers began calling the ladybugs "The Beetles of Our Lady", and they eventually became known as "Lady Beetles"! The red wings represented the Virgin's cloak and the black spots represented her joys and sorrows. They didn't differentiate between males and females.
Are there different kinds of ladybugs?
A. Yes. There are hundreds of different kinds all over the world. There are about 500 different kinds in the United States and nearly 5000 world wide. They come in all different colors, too. Reds, yellows, orange, gray, black, brown and even pink.
Do the spots tell you how old they are?
A. No. Different ladybugs have different numbers of spots. Some have no spots while some have as many as twenty four. Ladybugs generally complete their life cycle within one year. The spots are with them all their life. They don't get more spots as they get older, nor do they lose spots.
What is the yellow stuff coming from the ladybug?
Ladybugs can excrete some of their blood as a defense, which is mentioned above. It is yellow and smells bad. There is that "color" defense again and it does smell quite unpleasant.
Are all ladybugs girls?
A. No. There are boy ladybugs and girl ladybugs. It's almost impossible for the average person to tell them apart. But here are some clue that might help. First, females are usually larger than males. Second, if you observe one ladybug riding atop another ladybug, they are in the process of mating. A male ladybug will grab the female's elytra (hard wings) and holds on tight.