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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Variegated Ladybug

A pair of variegated ladybugs. Click to enlarge. 
There are a few dozen kinds of ladybugs that live in New York. Lately, I keep seeing amorous couples of the variegated ladybug, Hippodamia variegata. The species was introduced from Europe.

It is not very hard to identify ladybug species. Don't only look at their spots. The pronotum -- the section between the head and the wings -- has markings that are distinct for each species. Click here for a guide to some common species

I am searching for the nine-spotted ladybug, Coccinella novemnotata. It has been the official insect of New York State. It is a native species that was once the most common ladybug in the northeastern United States. Beginning around 1980, though, its numbers began to decline and it is now rare.  It may have been displace by introduced species. I don't have a photo of it because I have never seen one.  To see a picture and read a little of its history, click here.

If I find a nine-spotted ladybug, I will take a picture and upload it here. I'll also upload it to the Lost Ladybug Project site where it will be added to a study of ladybug populations across the continent. The project relies on data collected and contributed by amateurs.

Another pair of variegated ladybugs. 

2 comments:

  1. We hope you'll find the nine-spotted ladybug, Julie!
    To see photos of all the nine spots or C9s uploaded to the Lost Ladybug Project website from across the United States so far check out:
    http://www.lostladybug.org/contributors-images-species.php?species=Coccinella+novemnotata

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