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!
March 22, 2011
New Ladybug Record For North CampusOn a recent jaunt around the Museum I found a new ladybug record for the North Campus. Yes, I do get paid to walk around outside and look for insects (awesome job)! I also get paid to keep track of all the creatures we find out there and make sure they are added to our ever expanding North Campus species list. Including this new record, we have found seven different species of ladybugs in the North Campus!
This is Adalia bipunctata, also known as the Two-spotted Ladybug. One of the many things I love about ladybugs is they are so aptly named! Just refer to our Lost Ladybug Field Guide for Los Angeles and you'll find fantastically named species such as the Seven-spotted Ladybug, the Convergent Ladybug, and my favorite, the Twice-stabbed Ladybug (all of which have been found in the North Campus)! This two-spotted ladybug, was found on a bush, recently emerged from its pupa, and then I snapped its picture.Maybe you have Two-spotted Ladybugs in your neighborhood, or what about another species that hasn't been recorded in Los Angeles yet? Check out our Lost Ladybug website for easy to follow instructions, so you can help me track ladybugs in L.A.