Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Missing Ladybugs

Ladybugs are insects that even a toddler can identify. Their red and black markings are distinct and their rounded shape appears nonthreatening. As predators of aphids and other garden leaf-eaters, ladybugs have one of the most positive insect profiles. Everyone loves ladybugs.

But across the country native ladybug populations are declining. What is happening to these important and beloved insects? Citizen scientists can play an important role in helping scientists sleuth out this environmental problem.

Go looking for ladybugs or just keep your eyes open and aware during your daily activities. When you see a ladybug, take its picture and report it to the Lost Ladybug Project

I spotted this ladybug on a lavender plant on December 9th. Ladybugs hibernate over the winter as adults and typically they group together in a protected location. One year we cut down a live Christmas tree and brought it into the house only to find that there were about 100 ladybugs hibernating in a clump at the center of the tree. The ladybug I took a photo of was out in the warm winter weather. (Climate Change in California) If it gets caught without a protected place to stay when the temperature turns cooler, as it is expected to do this weekend, will it survive the colder temperatures?

Scientists need your eyes to help solve this mystery of Missing Ladybugs.
Other Citizen Science Projects.

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