I almost missed this little beauty. The bright red caught my eye but I assumed it was merely another seven-spot ladybug beetle. An introduced species, seven-spots do a good job of controlling aphids and other plant pests. The down side? They have almost displaced native ladybugs in many areas.
This one is a true native: an eye-spotted ladybug beetle, named for the two big “eyes”. The Lost Ladybug Project shows a wide variation of colour in this species — scroll down to Anatis mali and click on the photo icon — from the typical red shown here to dark brown almost black.
The Lost Ladybug Project began at Cornell University in 2000 as an outreach program with a 4-H program in New York State. It’s geared to helping young people learn more about science, especially biology, by getting them directly involved in gathering data.
Adults can also help by submitting findings and photos to the site.
Eye-spotted ladybug beetle Anatis mali
Dwarf/swamp birch Betula pumila (?)