ladybug1

Ladybugs are those fantastical real-life tiny creatures that look like they stepped straight out of a Disney animated movie. Given their tell-tale cartoon-like shape, color and dots it’s not surprising that they are the origin of many stories and are symbols of luck and fortune. 

Part of a widespread family of small beetles called Coccinellidae (meaning "little red sphere”) these tiny creatures’ common names vary in English, in North America they are known as ladybugs and ladybirds in Britain. Entomologists like to call them ladybird beetles or lady beetles because they are not true bugs. 

Their latin name, Coccinellidae comes from the latin word for scarlet. And the designation of "Lady" or "Mary" in many countries comes from the fact that the Virgin Mary was often depicted in paintings in a red cloak, additionally the seven dots seen often on the ladybugs back symbolizing her seven joys or seven sorrows. 

Often they are colored yellow, orange or red but also come in brown and other colors as well. They can have spots, stripes or no markings at all. Most ladybugs are seven spotted with 3 on each side and one in the middle. They are beneficial to us because they eat aphids and other agricultural pests including a moth that costs  US agriculture $1 Billion every year.

Ladybugs a Symbol of Luck

Ladybugs are considered lucky all over the world. One such story explains it like this. During the reign of King Robert II of France (972–1031), a prisoner was saved from being executed by guillotine when a ladybug repeatedly landed on his neck convincing the king that this was divine intervention.  Thereafter the little beetle was known as bête a Bon Dieu (literally the animal of Good God).

A common belief is that if a ladybird lands on you, your wish will come true. Also, it is believed that  the brighter the red coat, the stronger the luck, and the number of black spots on the creature’s wings will be the number of months you’ll be blessed with lucky intervention. Conversely, killing one is said to bring sorrow and misfortune. 

ladybug2

Ladybug Legends and Stories:

These adorable little beetles are not only real world helpers to farmers and gardeners they are also the source of countless tales that describe them as rescuers.  There is a European legend that tells of a time in the in the Middle Ages, when pests plagued crops, because of this the farmers prayed to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to save their harvest. Many ladybugs started visiting them soon after, clearing out the pests. The farmers called the little beetles “our lady’s birds” or lady beetles.

    In France, if a Ladybug lands on you, any ailment you sustain will disappear when the ladybug flies away  

    If you hold a ladybug in your cupped hands then let if fly away the direction where it flies indicates where your luck will come from

    In Belgium, if a Ladybug walks across 
    a young girl's hand, she will be married in a year. 

    Parents tell their children that ladybugs brought them as babies!

    Some Asian cultures believe that the Ladybug understands
    human language, and has been blessed by God, Himself.

    In Brussels, the spots on the back of a Ladybug foretells how many children you will have.

   In Norse mythology the Ladybug came to down to earth 
  riding on a bolt of lightning (woohoo!)

    In Victorian England they believed that if a Ladybug landed on your
    hand, you would be getting new gloves.....if on your head,
    a new hat etc.

    It was a good omen to find a Ladybug in your log cabin
    during the winter, during the settler days. 

   British farmers forecast plentiful crops if they see lots of ladybugs flying around in the spring. 

    In Norway, if a two people see a Ladybug at the same time,
    they will soon find romance. 

Greek Rhyme

Fly, fly pashalitsa

to bring me shoes

and pretty clothes.”

In Norfolk UK, What you say if a ladybug lands on your hand

Bishy bishy barney bee

Tell me when your wedding be

If it be tomorrow day

Take your wings and fly away.

Fly to the east, fly to the west,

Fly to the one I love the best.

ladybug4

Swedish Rhyme

Guld-höna, guld-ko!

Flyg öster, flyg vester,

Dit du flyger der bor din älskade!

Gold-hen, gold-cow!

Fly east, fly west,

You’ll fly to where your sweetheart lives

English Rhyme

Ladybug, ladybug fly away home, your house is on fire your children and alone. 

Names for Ladybugs in Different Languages

Austrian - Glückskäfer 

Brazil - Joaninha Little Joana

Catalan - marieta little mary

Czech - Slunécko   

Denmark - Mariehøne   

Dutch - Lieveheersbeestje a sweet Lords animal/little creature’  or Kapoentje

English - Ladybug (US), ladybird, lady clock, lady cow, and lady fly | North London poor peggies

Farsi/Persian (Iran) - Kafshdoozak tiny shoe maker

Finland Leppäkerttu   

French - poulette de la madone’  Our lady's little hen  beast of the good god

German - Marienkafer Marys bug| Siebenpunkt Seven point| Glückskäfer fortune bug’  

Greece Paskalitsa   

Hebrew Parat Moshe Rabenu  

Hindi - sonapankhi golden wings

Holland Lieveheersbeestje   

Hungary Katicabogár   

Indonesian - Kumbang Kepikor Kumbang Koksi

Italy - Coccinella   

Japan Tentou Mushi   

Jordan Da'asouqah  Abu Ali - Father of Ali | Abu Sulayman - Father of Solomon

Korea - Mudangbule   

Latvia - Mara   

Malaysia - Kumbang    

Norway - Mariehøne 

Occitan language - Galineta= little hen | buou de nostre Senher= Our Lord's Ox

Poland - Biedronka   

Portugal/Brazil - Joaninha   ‘Little Joana

Romania - Buburuzã  ‘

Russia - Bosya Kopovka   ‘Gods little beetle”

Slovania - Pikapolonica   

Spain - Mariquita   

Spanish - Mariquita  Little mary

Sweden - Nykelpiga   

Turkey Ugurböcegi   

Uruguay - san antonios 

Zulu - Ilsikazana Esincane