Throughout camp this week, we have been studying ladybug beetles and other insects. Following the protocols of the Lost Ladybug project, we have been sweep-netting the grasses in Woodchuck Field and at a second site in Pembroke, and have had wonderful results, with many different species.
One standout for us was found on our first day of netting, a Fourteen-spotted Ladybird, or, for those of you preferring to read Latin, a Propylea quatuordecimpunctata. Unfortunately, it’s invasive! You’ll find it overseas in Europe in its native lands, but it’s not supposed to be here in Norwell. And this little tiny species can lay 400 eggs at a go.
Our second standout was a Spotless Lady Beetle. There are three species in the genus, and ours is pretty identifiable both by its range (the eastern U.S.) and its yellowish legs. We think what we have here is a Cycloneda munda pronotum.
Our data will be submitted to the Lost Ladybug experts, and will become part of the greater picture of ladybug distribution in the United States. More to come!