Yuck! It’s the first reaction of many when it comes to bugs. The word born in the mouth of the people in itself signals something not-so-charming.

Among the bugs is one that does not evoke the shivers of disgust. A dotted red cutie for whom even rhymes have been prepared: a ladybug, familiarly a ladybug. Quite a few Finnish children have held a ladybug in their hand and sang it to fly to the root of a big rock.

The most well-known and most common of the ladybugs found in Finland, the seven-point hut, is the national insect of our country. The selection was made from 24,000 insect species present in Finland. We find the seven-point thunder so nice.

64 species

Ladybug, but a seven-point squirrel. The balls are really damn. Rytipirkko, luhtapirkko, isoopirkko, mermerirkko. There are a total of 64 species in Finland, all of which are devils, although ladybugs are commonly talked about.

Nor is the front of the name what comes to mind at first glance. It does not refer to a tree, but in its old Finnish word alder, which means blood. In the case of the ladybug, it is associated with color, blood red. Like the Latin tribal name Coccinellidea, in Finnish “orange-tinged red”.

However, not all ladybugs found in Finland are red. Mostly just named after the dots, the cutest ones. Two-point, five-point, seven-point and ten-point range.

22-Pistepirkko is missing from the list. The Finnish band has still not invented its own ladybug genre. 22-Pistepirkko now obeys the name ahopirkko. And it's not red. At Ahopirkko, the black dots are on a yellow background.

Why is Kerttu Pirkko? Sami Karjalainen, who made the Finnish Ladybug book (Docendo), which covers ladybugs and has brilliant pictures, has no answer to that.

- The official name for the group is alder trees. I did a survey related to the name and people think it's ladybugs, Karjalainen says.

Do you know the autumn or brake section?

The established practice of science against the mouth of the people ended in the victory of the voice of the people. That’s not always a good thing, but at this point it should be allowed.

Few of us would still be able to define, for example, an autumn or brake ladybug as a ladybug, so much their black-speaking appearance resembles a beetle. And that's what they really are, like all ladybugs.

1. Dacne bipustulata. 2. Tritoma bipustulata. 3. Triplax russica. 4. Tetratoma fungorum. 5. Endomychus coccineus. 6. Mycetina cruciata. 7. Lycoperdina succincta. 8. Lyc. bovistae. 9. Hippodamia tredecimpunctata. 10. Anisostica novemdecimpunctata. 11. Hippodamia variegata. 12. Coccinella obliterata. 13. 14. 15. Cocc. bipunctata 16. Cocc. quinquepunctata. 17. Cocc. septempunctata. 18. Cocc. quatuordecimpustulata. 19. 20. 21. 22. Cocc. decempunctata. 23. Cocc. quadripunctata. 24. Cocc. conglobata. 25. Cocc. octodecimguttata. 26. Mysia oblongoguttata. 27. Anatis ocellata. 28. Cocc. quatuordecimguttata. 29. Cocc. sedecimguttata. 30. 31. Cocc. quatuordecimpunctata. 32. Cocc. vigintiduopunctata. 33. Micraspis sedecimguttata. 34. Chilocorus similis. 35. Exochomus quadripustulatus. 36. Hyperaspis reppensis. (Scientific illustration from 1905)

Image: Wikimedia Commons

The femininity of the species does not appear only in the Finnish names Kerttu and Pirkko. In North America the ladybug is the ladybug, in Britain the ladybird and in the German-speaking countries Marienkäfer, which refers to the Virgin Mary.

If the background to the use of the word Kerttu is covered in obscurity, Pirkko has an even finer story behind it, which Karjalainen tells in his book.

The ladybug has been considered a messenger between God and man. The name Pirkko is derived from the medieval St. Birgitta, who was declared a saint and is known in Finland for the Birgitta monastery in Naantali.

The monastery church is still in Naantali. It connects Birgita and the ladybug in the form of a rhyme: “Fly fly a ladybug to the root of a stone church”. In the more secular version, Pirkko was transformed into a stone and the stone church into a large stone.

Ladybugs also have their own “venereal diseases”

It is believed that if a ladybug flies to a hand, it knows great luck. Often it also knows the yellow mark on the palm. It is not urine but the bad-tasting fluid secreted by the ladybug from its limbs. For it signals that there is no good to eat.

The color red says the same thing. Ladybugs still sometimes end up on the menu of eaves and little sparrows. Perhaps not, however, a seven-point blunder that has been found to cause fatal liver damage to sinusitis.

Parasitic sparrows do not frighten the color. There are over a hundred ladybugs in the world that host parasites. At the same time, the hawk species, which lays eggs in the ladybug, infects its victim with a virus that makes the ladybug a zombie, under the protection of which the porpoise develops. Some ladybugs survive this ordeal.

Ladybugs also have their own “venereal diseases”. Certain ticks and parasitic fungi spread sexually to ladybugs.

Cute beast

Leppis is a cute but in a bug world beast. The victims are often aphids. Therefore, ladybugs are used in orchards as a biological weapon. There’s one more reason to admire the leprous human tip.

One ladybug larva can eat 50 aphids or other harmful small animals a day from bullying the plants.

For ants, aphids are cattle, which makes ants and ladybugs quarrelsome neighbors. Ahdepirkko has a chemical solution to the problem. It secretes ants that repel ants.

A characteristic feature of less ladybugs is cannibalism. Larger larvae may put smaller ones in their mouths. Sometimes a ladybug eats its own eggs.

Ladybugs mate and lay their eggs in the spring. During the summer, the larvae develop into adults through the conch stage. Leproses overwinter as adults, often on the ground under litter shelters.

Sometimes ladybugs roam in huge numbers. Despite their small size, they are great pilots. The typical flight altitude for hikes is 150-500 meters and the speed is 30 kilometers per hour, so it is not in vain that flying is mentioned.

Source: Sami Karjalainen: Ladybugs of Finland