Ladybug and ladybird refers to the same insect, a Coccinellidae beetle. In North America, the insect is primarily referred to as a ladybug, though sometimes it is called a lady beetle. In British English, the insect is called a ladybird. In the late 1600s, it was also labeled the ladycow. The English Oxford Dictionary discerns that this insect was referred to as “bird” because of its ability to fly, and “lady” in homage to Our Lady, the Virgin Mary.
The famous nursery rhyme “Ladybird, lady bird, (in America, ladybug), fly away home, your house is on fire your children alone…” has been chanted by generations of children. Ladybugs are voracious predators of aphids, gardeners often buy live ladybugs as a natural pesticide. The most famous ladybird may be Lady Bird Johnson, the wife of Lyndon Johnson, the 36th president of the United States. Lady Bird Johnson was a dedicated advocate of beautifying America, she helped popularize the Highway Beautification Act and with Helen Hayes, founded the National Wildflower Research Center near Austin, Texas.
Teens Who Allegedly Released 72,000 Ladybugs In Their School Now Face Criminal Charges (The Huffington Post)
Farmers had hoped nature could beat back the aphid assault, but this infestation was too big even for the ladybug brigade. (The Los Angeles Times)
A tiny parasitic wasp injects a virus into ladybugs that turns them into zombie bodyguards for its young, a new study says. (National Geographic)
Scientists monitoring the spread of the voracious harlequin, which will prey on native ladybirds, said the warnings when it first arrived that it would colonise the country rapidly and was the world’s “most invasive ladybird” have proved correct. (The Guardian)
Ladybirds are great for getting rid of spiders as the little creatures eat nearly 50 bugs a day. (The Sun)