|I found a family of rare ladybugs in my neighborhood this week. Rare now, but once common. Here's one of them: the two spotted ladybug, Adalia bipunctata. Click to enlarge.
I saw my ladybugs when I stopped to look at some unusually curled leaves on a cherry tree in a postage-stamp sized yard in front of a Brooklyn Heights condo. I think the tree has a case of leaf curl disease. Then I spotted a tiny black insect on one of the damaged leaves. Looking closer I saw that it was a ladybug, but half the size of ladybugs I am used to. It was black with two red spots and red "shoulders" -- the dark form of the two spotted ladybug. I took a picture but it was windy and the insect was moving and I had to photograph with one hand, so I got this:
|It's not a very good photo, but it is good enough to tell what it is. I sent it to the Lost Ladybug Project. They confirmed its identity and congratulated me. I'm proud.
There were ladybug larvae and a few pupae (their equivalent of cocoons) on the cherry tree. I took a pupa home. I put it and the leaf it was stuck on into a container, punched holes in the lid, and waited. Four days later, this emerged:
|It's a brand new two spotted ladybug, of the more common color scheme of orange with black spots. There is a family of two spots living on a cherry tree in Brooklyn Heights. Yay!
|This one is in my garden now.