Random Acts of Living

Monday, September 7, 2009

Lost Ladybug Project

In Sunday's Wichita Eagle I saw the following article...

Scientists in search of nation's lost ladybugs
Associated Press

ITHACA, N.Y. —A year after they launched a nationwide search for dwindling native ladybugs, New York researchers are breeding colonies of them from insects found by citizen scientists in Oregon and Colorado....

The article gave a link to the project's website (here). If you're looking for an interesting project to do with your children, this one has all sorts of resources.
I'm always seeing ladybugs in my garden and have noted that they don't all look the same, so this was quite interesting to me. Today I went out with my camera and found the one below on the okra. After looking at the picture on my computer I believe that there were also larva, most noticeably to the left (possibly two?) and then to the right. All out of focus. This ladybird, it's actual name, looks to be a seven spotted, an import from Asia.
The next one I found on a cucumber leaf, it's a Multicolored Asian.
And this larva was scurrying around on a leaf beneath it.
Many years ago I found a mass of these larva on the cement foundation of my house that is kept warm being on the south side in the sun. At that time I didn't have a clue WHAT they were. After doing some research I finally that they were ladybird beetles. Amazing the transformation they make. So grab your cameras and head outdoors for a ladybug/ladybird beetle hunt, maybe YOU have some nine spot in your yard.


Bob Johnson said...

What a cool post, love the images, I am a ladybug fan and I didn't even know there were so many types of them or that their distribution is changing, thanks for the info!

Moonshadow said...

What kind do you have up north? Why don't you shock everybody with something other than sky pictures. Get some shots of your local ladybugs and share the website. :)

Jennifer said...

What a neat post. I love ladybugs but we don't see as many of them around as we used too. Kind of like the dwindling bee population, very sad. Come to think of it when I was a kid the fireflies used to light up the night sky and now there only seems to be a few. :( I loved your pictures and I had no idea that is what ladybug larva looked like. It is nice to learn something new today.

Oh and blogger finally decided too cooperate and load my birdhouse gourds picture! A fair warning about them though, they really spread out. I planted 3 and they completely took over not only their trellis but a 10' section of fence on one side and they are on the ground about 10' out on the other side. They even crept into the garden and tried to climb the corn. I was amazed just how big they got but I loved them and will plant them again, just with a bigger trellis next time!

Moonshadow said...

Jennifer - if you check out the link for the Lost Ladybug Project and go to the links at their site you will see there's a Citizen Science Project for watching fireflies, too.

The structure in this (http://ksborn.blogspot.com/2008/07/no-its-not-cattle-chute.html) post is what I thought I'd grow the gourds on. The Kansas wind doesn't like my tarp. I have put fence wire down the top so the gourds would have plenty of growing room. I could also add wire out from it for the awnings if it got growing that well.