The 9-spotted ladybug is a rare, rare thing. Rarer than a four-leaf clover or a rent-stabilized apartment, the 9-spotted ladybug resulted in an entire “citizen science project” being launched nationwide by Cornell University after that ladybug and her 9 spots seemed to have simply disappeared from the state some 29 years ago. But, the ladybug is back, reports NBC NY! She’s been found on Long Island, at an organic farm, which is where, we dare say, many a sophisticated ladybug would enjoy shopping for groceries these days.
(This is not all just metaphor for human life, though it might be, someday. This is actually true!)
Also true: The ladybug is our state insect, which means this ladybug should be treated well, indeed. 20 more of them were found at the organic farm, and researchers are now studying them to figure out what brought about their near extinction, and also breeding a separate population of Oregonian and Coloradoan ladybugs to make sure they are with us for a long, long time. Once the most common ladybugs in the U.S., the 9-spotters declined and by 1999 extensive searches failed to find any of them. It’s thought the 7-spotters (from Europe, now common) may have taken over (or perhaps the 9-spotters headed West to find decent manbugs?).
Again, this is not a metaphor for anything, though it would make a really good contemporary children’s book; call it the anti-Willow-the-cat story (who’s calling whom a transplant, hm?). We’re glad to have you back, ladybug!