- Ladybugs aren’t really bugs. They’re beetles – insects that chew solid food and have hard wings. In fact, they are (correctly) called Ladybird beetles in Europe.
- When a ladybug is under threat of danger, it releases a yellowish liquid called hemolymph from its knees. This liquid has a truly horrendous smell which deters predators from attacking.
- Ladybug moms lay two sets of eggs – one set which is hatched and the other set which acts as food for the new borns.
- Not all ladybugs are darlings. One species, the harlequin ladybug, indiscriminately kills all insects it comes in contact with by infecting them with a deadly parasite called Nosema apis.
- Ever had wine that tasted like peanuts or asparagus (shudder!)? This was probably the fault of a ladybug. Sometimes ladybugs that reside in vineyards are accidentally collected with the grapes and crushed in the machines that extract grape juice for wine. The hemolymph released by stressed-out ladybugs taints the wine and gives it a foul flavour.
Legend says that ladybugs first made an appearance in farms that were plagued by plant-eating insects, after farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary (The Lady of Sorrows) to release them from their sorrows. That’s where they get their name from – The Lady’s Bug. According to stories, the red colour of the ladybug represents the Virgin’s cloak and the seven polka dots, the seven sorrows.