A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in citizen science was certainly not on the minds of 6-year-old Alyson Yates and her mom, Kate, when they stepped out into their back yard one day to scout for ladybugs. But, their effort that day lead to a critical discovery that the Lost Ladybug Project from Cornell University had been long awaiting.
What the Yates found was the elusive nine-spotted ladybug, likely to have been overtaken in the United States by the Asian seven-spotted bugs imported in the 1970s and 80s to assist with crop pest control.
Now these little red fairytale creatures are living the high-life in Ithaca and breeding like wildfire. The hope is that the researchers will discover the true cause of the drastic decline of our classic native ladybug, and what might be a way to bring them back to our backyards.
Read more about this great success story of citizen science, and find our more about how you can participate in the Lost Ladybug Project…