They were named in Europe, during the Middle Ages by Catholic farmers that prayed to the Virgin Mary for help with the insects that were destroying their crops. The red and black beetles appeared soon after to eat the plant-destroying pests and save the crops. The farmers began calling the beetles "The Beetles of Our Lady", which became lady beetles, lady birds, and ladybugs. The red wings represented the Virgin's cloak and the black spots represented her joys and sorrows. There was no differentiation between males and females.