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The Green Life: Citizen Science: The Case of the Lost Ladybugs

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November 29, 2012

Citizen Science: The Case of the Lost Ladybugs

LadybugCan you solve the mystery of the nine-spotted ladybug? Citizen scientists, here's your next challenge:

The Lost Ladybug Project

Sometimes, the "right" thing to do isn't clear. If you want to avoid pesticides, you should find alternatives. Ladybugs are popular, since they eat crop-sucking aphids by the dozen. But what happens when the ladybugs you use are an Asian ladybug species imported from Japan? And then, mysteriously, the native ladybugs start disappearing....

The Lost Ladybug Project gathers data from citizen scientists on the distribution and abundance of different species of ladybugs in North America, especially the swiftly declining nine-spotted ladybug. The Project provides tips on capturing and photographing ladybugs, as well as some guides to the more common ladybug species. All you need to do is take the pictures, and the Lost Ladybug Project does the rest.

And certainly, helping scientists help ladybugs is the right thing to do.

To see a video of this project in action, look below!

This week on the Green Life, we're highlighting four citizen science projects.

--by Rachael Monosson / Image credit iStockphoto/ejik.

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