January 18, 2013
A few weeks ago, I was having a terrible day at work. The next day, my friend and colleague, Kristina Lockaby, brought me a card that said, "Ladybugs make me smile." This is so true. A recent ladybug that made me smile REALLY big, was one that our Head Gardener, Richard Hayden, found. He was out in the urban wilderness and stopped a moment to take a closer look at one of the willow shrubs. He noticed lots of aphids and a few ladybugs too. One in particular stood out to him. It was all black with two red spots on it, something he had never seen before on a ladybug. He put the little beetle in a snap top jar and brought it up to our shared office. "Lila, I have a present for you!" he exclaimed as he came in. I immediately stopped staring blankly at my computer screen and turned to see what booty he was bringing in from the garden. He silently handed me the jar, I took a look, and I smiled. Richard had collected a twice-stabbed ladybug. These ladybugs are so named for their color and pattern. Unlike most ladybugs, they are black with red spots. Two red spots to be precise, and that according to some, look like the poor little beastie had been stabbed by some sadistic Homo sapiens. I'd previously found one of these ladybugs in a similar location, but before the garden had even been planted. However, taking a close look at the specimen Richard had handed me, I realized it was a little bit different. The spots were much larger, of a slightly different shape, and overall there was just something that made me think, "Mmmmmm, maybe this is a different type of twice-stabbed ladybug." And it was!
Twice-stabbed Ladybug, Chilocorus cacti This brings the total number of ladybugs in the garden to eight! Check out one of our previous ladybug blogs to see what other species we have found, or how about this one? Check out our submission on the Lost Ladybug project website!