In our citizen science project, “The Lost Ladybug Project”, our goal is to find and document any ladybugs in our area and upload them to their site. Our goal is to find the native species that in recent years has been on the decline. In our search for any ladybug whatsoever, we’ve been forced to the extremes in our methods of locating them.
After two days dedicated entirely to searching for ladybugs around WCC campus, and coming up empty both times, our group has decided to take drastic measures. In most classrooms across WCC, light fixtures and window sills have contained an alarming amount of dead ladybugs, cleaned periodically by custodians.
What we’ve decided to do is open up these light fixtures and check the window sills for ladybugs, checking their species as we sweep from room to room, only we’ve run into one problem. What we do find is so old that it’s near indistinguishable from any of the other bugs we found, the elytra (the outer shell that covers the wings) is so faded from age that there aren’t any patterns on them anymore.
But why were we forced to take down lights and go after sills? The weather this past week has mostly been extremely humid and rainy, the time is right for there to be ladybugs (spring/early summer) but the weather is keeping them dormant, on the underside of leaves, cars, and rooftops. The weather this week looks to be much clearer, so hopefully we’ll be able to find live samples for photographing and documentation this week.