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Plants and Wildlife

Rare Two-Spotted Ladybug Found in Park

by Brooklyn Bridge Park on Aug 8, 2012

Brooklyn Bridge Park is happy to announce that we have a new resident to the park, the Two-Spotted Lady Beetle! What’s so special about this type of lady beetle (or ladybug as it more commonly called?)

Well, even though this species is native to New York City, it has become very rare in recent years. The Two-Spotted Lady Beetle hasn’t been seen in New York City for 30 years!

Also, since the Two-Spotted Ladybug has decided to come back to Brooklyn Bridge Park, it marks a big turning point for the park. Now it is not only just a great recreational facility, but this finding shows that it has begun functioning as a thriving natural wildlife habitat for New York City.

Found by one of our park visitors on July 16th, the Two-Spotted Ladybug is much smaller than most ladybugs and has an orange-reddish shell with only two black spots on it, one spot on each side of its back. It was found on a Catalpa Tree, one of the trees it is most fond of.

Surprisingly there is also another rare form of the Two-Spotted Ladybug that was found. It is a morphed form of the original and has a black shell with red spots on its back.

The native species, which has been gone from the New York City area for three decades, has taken to living in Brooklyn Bridge Park because for the first time in a long time there is finally a habitat that is perfect for it.

The park is run entirely organically, so all the plants that the Two-Spotted Ladybug’s live in have begun to grow here. Also, due to the organic practices used by the gardeners, aphids, the ladybug’s primary food source, are living in the park as well.

This is unique to Brooklyn Bridge Park because in most other parks and home gardens in New York City, people kill aphids with pesticides, which in turn drives away the Two-Spotted Lady Bug. In addition, people who decide not to use pesticides buy European or Asian ladybugs and let them loose into their gardens. What they don’t know is that they are actually letting loose an invasive species. The European and Asian ladybugs will actually eat the Two-Spotted Ladybug because they are much bigger.

If this species has come back to the area, what’s to say more rare insects won’t come back too? Keep on the lookout, because its people like you that help us discover new parts of the park everyday!

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