Ladybug ladybug, fly away home!

That’s how the nursery rhyme starts.

Your house is on fire and your children are gone!

Bummers.

Who is doing all this house-burning? Are there insect arsonists afoot?

And is that the reason why no one can find the nine-spotted ladybug anywhere in New York?

It seems that for that past 40 years, the nine-spotted ladybug has hardly ever been seen. And that’s not good for a couple reasons, one of them being that the nine-spotted ladybug is the official insect of the state of New York.

It was thought they might even be extinct.

But like the Millers Grizzled Langur, the nine-spotted ladybug hasn’t vanished from our planet just yet. Last summer a small group of these elusive ladybugs was spotted in a patch of sunflowers on an organic farm in Long Island.

What makes this notable is that it was the first nine-spotted ladybug found in New York in 30 years.

Where have they all gone? Were their houses really on fire?

One theory is that they’re still around – sort of. It is possible that the nine-spotted ladybug could have interbred with their seven-spotted cousins and essentially bred themselves out of existence. Whatever the reason, one thing is certain: ladybugs all across North America are vanishing. Some are showing up in other places. Others haven’t been found.

It’s happening very quickly and entomologists don’t know why. But you can help uncover the mystery – and you might be surprised how easy it is to help. Read more at Lost Ladybug Project.

Maybe the house fire is a metaphor. If global climate change was making you practically extinct, wouldn’t you go into hiding?

So sayeth the StickMonkey.

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