|MadSci Network: Zoology|
The name comes from the notion that these beetles are somehow dedicated to the Virgin Mary, as in Our Lady's beetles (or "bugs"). They are called by similar names in many European countries, such as Nyckelpiga (Our Lady's Key-Maid) in Scandinavia, Jungfrau Marias Gullhona (the Virgin Mary's golden hen) and Marien-käfer (Mary's beetles) in Germany and Betes de la Vierge (animals of the Virgin) in France. In England they were also called Lady-bird, or Bishop Barnabee. In Scotland they were called Lady Lanners, Dr. Ellison or King Calowa, usually associated with a rhyme such as King, King Calowa Up your wings and flee awa' Over land, and over sea Tell me where my love can be For some reason the name ladybug (or more accurately ladybird beetle) stuck and that is what we call these useful insects today. References: Berenbaum, M. R. 1993. Ninety-nine more maggots, mites, and munchers. Univ. of Illinois Press, Urbana. Cowan, F. 1865. Currious history of insects; including spiders and scorpions. J. B. Lippencott, Philadelphia.
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