Ladybugs around the world
Did you know there are more than 5,000 species of ladybugs around the world. Isn’t that incredible? Even more unbelievable is the fact that there are over 500 species of ladybugs in North America. Yet, when you think of a ladybug, I’ll bet what comes to mind is the common 7 spot red ladybug, right?
Why do ladybugs matter?
If there are so many species of ladybugs in the world, then why would it matter if a few of them went extinct anyways? Ladybugs play a very important role in the food web, even though they are small. These colourful beetles are predators that feed on aphids and scale insects like mealybugs. Therefore, they are very beneficial to agricultural plants and orchards. Removing this function from the ecosystem tips the balance and would allow aphids to multiply.
Lost Ladybug Project
The Lost Ladybug project was created by Cornell University’s Department of Entomology in Ithaca, New York. It was designed for Citizen Scientists – like you – to contribute to their research by reporting sightings of all ladybugs in your area. This data is used to determine the range of various ladybug species and how common they are. It was believed that the 9 spot ladybug was extinct until one was discovered in 2006 in Arlington, VA. The search for the elusive 9 spot is the focus of the Lost Ladybug project.
Become a Ladybug Hunter
All you need to do is take a digital photograph of any and all ladybugs you find and send it to the Lost Ladybug Project! You can view pictures of ladybugs other people have found and where they were found. In addition,there is loads of information about ladybugs you can learn about. Check out the Lost Ladybug app on iTunes and take your pictures with your phone or ipad and upload them directly to the project.
This 11″x17″ poster is double sided and gives lots of information about how to collect ladybugs and where to look for them. See many common ladybug species with colour pictures of each one. Hang this poster in your classroom or kids room and get out there and start hunting!