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New York's Ladybug Emerges From Near Extinction December 2, 2011
Nine-spotted ladybug
The missing ladybugs were found in an area between rows of carrots and beans in the Hamptons.
The official insect of New York has been found to be still living in the Empire State decades after experts said it had probably gone extinct.

The five-spotted ladybug was last seen in New York 29 years ago.

But volunteers who combed the state earlier this year say they found a handful of the species summering in the Hamptons, around the seaside community of Amagansett.

Members of the Lost Ladybug Project had looked high and low through New York’s vegetation since 2000 in search of them.

Asian ladybugs, brought in for pest control, have thrived while the once plentiful nine-spotted variety disappeared.

Only five of the native ladybugs had been found in North America between 1996 and 2006, none in the east.

Cornell University entomologist John Losey, who runs the project, says that enough of the nine-spotted ladybugs have now been collected and are breeding in his lab to ensure that the species can make a comeback.

Photo: Ellen Woods - Cornell University