Where oh where could you be? part 2: Found you.

My previous post: “Where oh where could you be?” was about how my classmates and I started work on “The Lost Ladybug Project”: a citizen science project where people find, catch, and photograph ladybugs. Then they upload the pictures to the lost ladybug project website so the scientists can find the disappearing nine-spotted ladybug.

The elusive little guy has been found!

The elusive little guy has been found!

My groupmates and I searched for ladybugs around the WCC campus by the pond, in the woods, and finally in the classroom light fixtures. Success! In the light fixtures, in the L.A. building’s room 160, we found some dead ladybugs in the lights. We feared we would never find any ladybugs and it made us very happy that they appeared to us.

Dead ladybugs found hiding in the lights.

Dead ladybugs found hiding in the lights.

While doing some research on ladybugs I found an interesting quote from National Geographic that said; ”Ladybugs are also called lady beetles or, in Europe, ladybird beetles. There are about 5,000 different species of these insects, and not all of them have the same appetites. A few ladybugs prey not on plant-eaters but on plants. The Mexican bean beetle and the squash beetle are destructive pests that prey upon the crops mentioned in their names.“ I found this interesting because it shows that just because an insect is from the same species, that doesn’t automatically mean that it eats the same things, whether it be Aphids, plants, or anything else.

Ladybugs are small, oval-like insects that are usually red or orange in color, although color can vary. They have antennae and small, short legs that can emit a fluid, which is really yellow blood, that makes them taste bad to predators like ”There are lots of animals and insects that prey upon ladybugs. Some insect-eating birds, like martins, swallows, swifts and crows. Insect-eating insects prey on ladybugs like dragonflies, assassin bugs, parasitic wasps, and ants. Other predators include tree frogs, anoles, parasites, fungus and mites.” These amazing little creatures are highly fascinating and make for a wonderful research topic because they are so small yet so very complex.

Sources:

“There are lots of animals and insects…” = Ladybug lady: http://www.ladybuglady.com/LadybugsFAQ.htm

Lost ladybug project: http://lostladybug.org/

“Ladybugs are also called lady beetles..”National Geographic: http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/bugs/ladybug/

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