several interpretations of this old rhyme - that the ladybug was named after Mary, the mother of Jesus ("Our Lady") and that
she will punish anyone for nine days who dares harm it. Another story is that, in the Middle Ages, huge swarms of insects
were eating up crops. The people prayed to Mary for help--and then ladybugs came and ate the pests. So they called the insect
the "beetle of Our Lady." Another interpretation is that the ladybug rhyme is a cryptic reference to the fall of matriarchy
and the rise of patriarchy, thus the reference to St. Ann who portends an eventual return to Goddess worship.
Another interpretation is that this is a rhyme of resurrection and everlasting life, since the central figure is a beetle,
one of the world's oldest symbols of the resurrection.
many different countries sing this nursery rhyme. But no one knows for sure how or why the rhyme started. One idea is that
the rhyme came from places where hops were grown. Ladybug larvae live on hop vines. But these vines were burned after the
harvest. So singers warned the ladybug that her children would burn.
100 years ago, people in Europe thought that ladybugs could help them in many different ways.
In Austria, people used to ask the ladybug
for good weather. In Switzerland, people
told their children that human babies were brought by ladybugs. People in northern Germany counted spots on the backs of ladybugs. Fewer than seven meant a big harvest.
People in Central Europe believed that, if a girl caught a ladybug and it crawled across
her hand, she would be married within a year.
even used in medicine. In the 1800s, English doctors used ladybugs to treat measles. They also believed that if you mashed
ladybugs and put them into a cavity, the insects would stop a toothache!
really a beetle, and belong to the beetle family Coccinellidae, which means "little sphere". There are 4,000 species found
world-wide, and over 350 kinds found in North America. The ladybug has long been considered
a gardener's friend, because of its prodigious appetite for plant-damaging aphids. One adult female ladybug can consume up
to 75 aphids a day, and the smaller male may consume up to 40. The ladybug larva may eat up to 350 aphids during its life