Ladybird beetles — or ladybugs, as they’re commonly called in the United States — are beloved insects well known as gardeners’ friends because of their voracious appetite for aphids and mealy bugs. But the majority of the approximately 400 U.S. ladybug species are more inconspicuous. Several ladybug species are imperiled by habitat destruction, insecticides, and competition with non-native ladybird beetles released on farms and gardens for biological pest control.  One species, the nine-spotted ladybird beetle (Coccinella novemnotata), is now reduced to a handful of tiny locations from its former continent-wide distribution.  This amazing beetle is imperiled by pesticides, competition with non-native lady beetles, and other threats, and the Center is working with experts for its protection.