Across North America ladybug species distribution is changing. Over the past twenty years several native ladybugs that were once very common have become extremely rare. During this same time ladybugs from other places have greatly increased both their numbers and range. Some ladybugs are simply found in new places. This is happening very quickly and we don’t know how, or why, or what impact it will have on ladybug diversity or the role that ladybugs play in keeping plant-feeding insect populations low. The Lost Ladybug Project lets you to join in finding out where all the ladybugs have gone so we can try to prevent more native species from becoming so rare.
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 them to sample in enough places to find the really rare ones. Researchers need you to be their legs, hands and eyes. This is the ultimate summer science project for kids and adults! You can learn, have fun and help save these important species.
Here’s how to participate in the research.
- Collect Go out and collect ladybugs!
- Take Notes Note the time, location, and habitat (for example, wetlands, meadow, garden).
- Take Their Picture If you find ladybugs, take a picture of them all. Please do not kill the insects, especially of they are rare finds.
- Send the Info To send this information with the digital images go to www.lostladybug.org and click the Upload Images tab.
- Return Them Please release the ladybugs safely where you found them.
For more information go to www.lostladybug.org.