The Coccinellidae are a family of small beetles, also called ladybugs, lady beetles or ladybird beetles, are a very beneficial group. They are natural enemies of many insects, especially aphids and other sap feeders. A single lady beetle may eat as many as 5,000 aphids in its lifetime. Worldwide, nearly 6,000 species of ladybirds are known. Many cultures over the centuries have cherished ladybugs, believing them to bring good luck. Having a ladybug land on you can be a magical moment. The person may then succeed in love, have good weather, experience financial success or simply receive some other desired wish. Other cultures presume having a ladybug land on you brings good luck, or that whatever a ladybug lands on will be replaced with an improved version. Feng shui, the art of arranging spaces for optimum flow of energy, often incorporates the ladybug symbol.
Click on any image below for a slideshow of ladybugs.
Even though the ladybug is a North American insect, its delicate and artistic appearance has made it popular In many cultures, with a variety of superstitions to go along. One well-known superstition shared with children across cultures is: Never kill a ladybug because doing so will bring bad luck. The source of this adage was likely farmers, who wanted to protect these tiny but efficient crop defenders. The ladybug’s distinctive spots also contribute to the symbolism surrounding the insect. In the Middle Ages, European Christian societies believed the beetle’s spots represented the Seven Sorrows of Mary, according to Catholic Answers Forum. After the farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary to protect their crops, ladybugs supposedly appeared to defend the crops. The farmers called the bugs “Beetles of Our Lady,” which evolved into “ladybugs” — hence a reference to the Virgin Mary.