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Ladybug, ladybug, where have you gone?

ITHACA, N.Y. – The nine-spotted ladybug was considered so common, charismatic and crop-friendly that it was adopted as New York’s official state insect in 1989.

As it turns out, the species may have disappeared from the state nearly two decades before that. Recent surveys in New York and the Northeast have found none of the once-ubiquitous beetles entomologists call Coccinella novemnotata – or C-9, for short.

The decline of C-9 and some other native ladybugs happened so quickly and precipitously that scientists have launched a national project across the United States to help them understand why some ladybug species have all but vanished while others have greatly increased their numbers and range.

“We don’t know why this happened, what impact it will have on controlling pests or how we can prevent more native species from becoming so rare,” said John Losey, a Cornell University entomologist who leads the Lost Ladybug Project.

Read the original article at: green.sympatico

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