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You Can Help Find “Lost Ladybugs”

August 5, 2010

I love ladybugs, I always have. The ones around my area are a beautiful orange-red and black color. As a child I loved to catch them and let them crawl around on my hand. As a gardener, I love the fact they devour pesky aphids. I have even bought containers of live ladybugs from the local garden center to release into my garden to attack the offending bugs.

Recently I learned about The Lost Ladybug Project, managed by a department at Cornell University. It’s a website that enlists the public’s help in finding where ladybugs are. It seems that like honey bees, ladybug populations are decreasing in North America. Or moving. According to the site, lostladybug.org, sometimes researchers find that groups of certain ladybug species have moved their territories. It’s not certain what effect global warming is having on ladybug populations, or if there is something else going on that would threaten their existence.

To help researchers figure out what’s happening to the ladybugs, anyone can participate by going out in the backyard or local neighborhood to count how many ladybugs are around. Zero counts as a reportable result. The site also asks that folks take pictures of any ladybugs they find to upload for researchers to review. One page of the site shows on a world map where reports have come in thus far.

It’s a very kid- and family-friendly website, although it’s meant for all ages. There are helpful pages about how to collect and count the bugs, and lesson plans for teachers, scout and 4-H leaders, homeschoolers, etc. What a great project for kids while school is still out! A kids page is still under development, but there are lots of cute photos of kids with the ladybugs.

Be a good neighbor to the ladybugs and help researchers figure out where they are!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 6, 2010 2:05 am

    For some reason people are getting warnings about the website. Not sure why this is happening. I’ve sent an e-mail to Cornell University to see what I can learn.

  2. August 6, 2010 3:43 am

    Got an e-mail back. Sounds like a technical glitch that their webmaster needs to fix.

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