Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Watch Out Boys, She'll Chew You Up!

I'm speaking, of course of ladybugs! My aunt referred me to this amazing project out of Cornell University called The Lost Ladybug Project. They're looking for help in cataloging native lady beetles (the "proper" common name) and studying the spread of exotic species. The website beams with fun information and instructions on finding and taking photos of lady beetles and sending it in.
Did you know that lady beetles were named after the Virgin Mary when a swarm miraculously arrived to devour the aphids that were destroying the crops in Europe? The farmers, so grateful for an answer to their prayers, named their new friends "Our Lady Beetles."
It seems that native species are in decline in the US, however so scientists are interested in discovering the extent of the loss and perhaps coming to a conclusion as to why. The little lady above posed for my contribution. I think she's a Hippodamia convergens. Do your part! Find some ladybugs and be a scientist for a day!

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