Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and cooperators are seeking the public's help in surveying for once-common ladybug species that are now hard to find.
© Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org.Have you spotted a transverse ladybug, one of the lost lady beetles ARS is seeking?
Researchers with ARS, Cornell University at Ithaca, N.Y., and South Dakota State University (SDSU) in Brookings want people to photograph every ladybug possible, and to send the photos to Cornell so researchers can inventory the insects. In particular, the scientists are looking for rare species, such as the nine-spotted, two-spotted and transverse lady beetles.
These beetles were common 20 years ago, but have become harder to find in the past few decades. There are more than 400 ladybug species native to North America, but some have become extremely rare, displaced perhaps by development, pesticides, non-native species and other factors.