Lost Ladybug Rescue

The idea for the Lost Ladybug Rescue was hatched after 8 years of data collection and lab experimentation for the Lost Ladybug Project (www.lostladybug.org). The LLP had been gathering citizen science data to study shifts in ladybug populations throughout North America, and with the help of thousands of participants we were able to find a few viable populations of ninespotted ladybugs (Coccinella novemnotata). This species is now extremely rare but was once a common and important beneficial insect in agricultural landscapes all across North America - learn more here. In the meantime, we had also developed an efficient and healthy {but expensive} way to raise this species in our Cornell lab. Because of the growing interest in native and organic landscapes and agriculture, we believe the time is right to reintroduce ninespotted ladybugs into the wild. And it makes perfect sense to engage the public in the effort {and the fun} - as we did in the search for these ladybugs.

Right now the source of our colony is C. novemnotata found on Quail Hill Organic Farm in Amagansett, Long Island. We want to preserve local adaptation as best we can so we are calling these "Eastern C. novemnotata" and we will ship them to northeastern states. In the future, we will set up colonies of "Western C. novemnotata" and hopefully "Central C. novemnotata." We can't be sure this will work! But we do know that if we don't try we will have to just watch C. novemnotata disappear.

Rebecca Smyth and Leslie Allee - partners in Lost Ladybug Rescue - are both PhD entomologists and principal staff for the Lost Ladybug Project.

Lost Ladybug Rescue is associated with Cornell University and located in Ithaca, New York 14850. The best way to reach us is through "Contact Us" on this site or at [email protected]. Phone messages can be left at 607 437 1576.