The Lost Ladybug Project

Cornell University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Department of Entomology

Nebraska Chapter
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Department of Entomology
103 Entomology Hall
Lincoln, NE 68583

Through The Lost Ladybug Project, based out of Cornell University, citizen scientists will help study declines in our North American ladybug populations. These declines are happening very quickly and we don’t know how, or why, or what impact it will have on ladybug diversity or the role that ladybugs play in keeping plant-feeding insect populations low.

Nebraska Residents:
Chill containers for cooling adult ladybeetles for photgraphing can be obtained from Entomology Hall while supplies last. Printed color field guides are also available while supplies last. Pick ups must be pre-arranged! Contact Louise I. Lynch with questions at

Getting Started:
  1. COLLECT. Keep an eye out for lady beetles. Search in gardens, meadows, bushes, in tree branches, in areas with wildflowers. You may find lady beetles in agricultural fields as well, feasting on aphids. Search alfalfa, clover, wheat and corn fields. If you see aphids on plants, lady beetles may be close by. The best time to search for lady beetles is May to October. Remember that the first step is to collect, not kill. You will be releasing your ladybugs!
  2. TAKES NOTES. Write down (or type in) the date, time, location, habitat and weather at the time your ladybug was collected.
  3. PHOTOGRAPH. Takes pictures of as many lady beetles as you can. You can use a digital camera or the camera on your phone. When disturbed, lady beetles can move quite quickly, making them very difficult to photograph! Try chilling the lady beetle in the freezer for no more than 5 minutes. Place the adult on gray paper for contrast. Unless photographing a large congregation, try to limit the number of adults in each photograph to 10.
  4. SEND DATA. There are a few different ways that you can contribute your data to the Lost Ladybug Project database: 
          - Use your computer to upload photos at the Lost Ladybug website
          - Use your smart phone by downloading the Lost Ladybug App (for Apple or Droid phones)
          - Mail your photos and data to: Lost Ladybug Project, Department of Entomology, Insectary Building, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853
      5. RETURN. Safely release your lady beetles where your found them.

Visit the Lost Ladybug Project homepage at Cornell University.