It had been almost 30 years since anyone had seen New York’s state bug in New York—so long that legislators almost changed the official insect. But on July 30, a volunteer with the “Lost Ladybug Project” discovered a nine-spotted ladybug in Amagansett. Now, enough have been found to start a thriving colony in a lab at Cornell University, the New York Times reports.
In August, scientists were able to track down 20 of the insects on an Amagansett farm. Still, the native ladybugs remain rare: only 90 have been reported on the entire continent since 2006. “We need to find out more places where it’s thriving,” says a Cornell researcher. Meanwhile, he’s considering reintroducing the lab’s insects elsewhere.