Added 1 new A* page:Here's a little nature-lover my family and I came across in the park (Magnuson Park in Seattle, that is — map) on Sunday:|
A spotless ladybug! : o
That is, I've pretty much always heard them called ladybugs (and I don't recall ever having spotted a spotless one before). But apparently that's mostly a US thing, and Brits call them "ladybirds": "The name 'ladybird' originated in Britain where the insects became known as 'Our Lady's bird' or the Lady beetle. Mary (Our Lady) was often depicted wearing a red cloak in early paintings, and the spots of the seven-spot ladybird (the most common in Europe) were said to symbolise her seven joys and seven sorrows." And furthermore, "entomologists in the United States widely prefer the names ladybird beetles or lady beetles as these insects are not true bugs."
Well, jeepers. First of all, why were they first referred to as Mary's "birds" rather than, you know, insects? Not dainty-sounding enough, I suppose. And as for scientists preferring to call them "ladybird beetles or lady beetles" on technical grounds, well, I'm no scientist, much less an evolutionary biologist, but I'm just gonna go out on a limb and guess that they're more closely related to bugs than to birds. Heck, if you really want to be technical, you'd be better off calling them oh, say, "spiderbugs"—I mean, I'm just guessing they're also more closely related to spiders than they are to ladies. (Arachne, Spider-Woman, the Black Widow, and former first lady Lady Bird Johnson excepted, maybe.)
Anyway I'm going to keep calling them ladybugs. : P