I haven’t found one of these since I was a kid . . .
Isn’t it gorgeous?
Most the ladybugs we see anymore are non-native species that were imported by the U.S. Dept of Agriculture in the 70s to control agricultural pests.
Sounded like a good idea at the time, but they’ve driven out many of our native species.
The law of unintended consequences.
And look what else I found: Cornell University is asking kids to find and photograph native ladybugs and submit the photos with a little supporting data (date and time seen, location, habitat).
To be able to help the nine spotted ladybug and other ladybug species scientists need to have detailed information on which species are still out there and how many individuals are around. Entomologists at Cornell can identify the different species but there are too few of us to sample in enough places to find the really rare ones. We need you to be our legs, hands and eyes. If you could look for ladybugs and send us pictures of them on Email we can start to gather the information we need. We are very interested in the rare species but any pictures will help us. This is the ultimate summer science project for kids and adults! You can learn, have fun and help save these important species.
The website tells about how a couple of kids found a nine-spotted ladybug in Virginia in 2006 — the first sighting of this species in the Eastern U.S. in 14 years. Isn’t that cool?
And what a great environmental science-based summer activity!