C-9s Return to Brooklyn

Coccinella novemnotataThe New York State insect is the Nine-spotted Ladybug, also known as C-9 (Coccinella novemnotata). This was once one of the most common species of ladybug found on agricultural fields across North America. No more. I’ve still never seen an adult. In fact, nobody could find any in New York for more than two decades until just a few years ago. They were probably out-competed by all the introduced species of ladybugs from Eurasia or our West Coast; a reduction of habitat and, I would hazard to guess, the killing pesticides and other chemicals we spew all over everything.Coccinella novemnotataBut Cornell’s Lost Ladybug Project, which has been using citizen scientist data to track ladybug populations, now sells C-9 larvae. Last week we joined Flatbush Gardener for a release of the larvae in his amazing Brooklyn garden. Coccinella novemnotataThere were Multicolored Asian Ladybugs (Harmonia axyridis) in FG’s garden, so it will be interesting to see if he gets any C-9 adults who reproduce. The ones pictured above and below look like they just need to scarf up a few more aphids before they’re ready to pupate.Coccinella novemnotataAll my ladybug posts can be found here.

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