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Lady beetles congregate on Mount Livermore in the fall. (Photo by Cathryn Hoyt)

Lady bird, lady bird, fly away home
Your house is on fire and your children are gone
All except one, and that’s little Anne
For she has crept under the warming pan!

Ladybugs are memorialized in nursery rhymes, renowned as a good luck symbol, and welcomed with open arms by gardeners. Why are these colorful insects worthy of such celebration?