Nov 27th, 2011
No mention of war, financial collapse, civil unrest or violent shoppers; just ladybugs.
"After 29 years, the nine-spotted ladybug — Coccinella novemnotata, the state insect of New York — has been sighted. Peter Priolo, a volunteer participant with the Lost Ladybug Project, found the long-unseen ladybug on July 30 in a patch of sunflowers at the Quail Hill Organic Farm that is part of the 10,000 acre Peconic Land Trust in Amagansett on Long Island.
“I didn’t realize it was a nine-spotted when I found it,” Mr. Priolo said. He was on his way to do an end-of-the-day ladybug tally, so, he said, “I put it in my jar and hurried back to meet with everybody.”
Good thing he did: Back in 2006, the New York State Assembly, on realizing it had been so many years since the nine-spotted ladybug had been seen in New York state, attempted to name another species of ladybug as the state insect. Fortunately, that bill never went to the New York Senate and eventually “fell victim to legislative inaction.”
Cornell University entomologist John Losey runs the Lost Ladybug Project and has confirmed Priolo’s finding. Indeed, 20 more ladybugs have since been found on Quail Hill Organic Farm and Losey was able to collect enough ladybugs at the Amagansett site to establish a colony which is now thriving in his lab."