Congratulations to Levi Smith for winning the June 2022 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist! His photo of a charmingly-patterned lady beetle received the most faves of any iNaturalist observation in Vermont during the past month.
Of the 700+ observations of 21 different lady beetle species uploaded to the Vermont Atlas of Life during the month of June, Levi’s photo was the cream of the crop. The Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas is an ongoing project to seek out and document these colorful little beetles, and the 2nd and 3rd spots this month were taken by two other rarely seen lady beetles found during the 2022 Vermont Lady Beetle BioBlitz. As its name might suggest, the Cream-spotted Ladybird often shows creamy white spots on its elytra (wing covers), though several other color morphs of this species exist. One of these can only be described as a beetle with two valentine’s-day-worthy hearts on its back that Levi photographed wonderfully this month. Keep an eye out in your backyards or local meadows for these colorful little beetles, and visit the VT Lady Beetle Atlas homepage linked above to find tips on searching for and identifying Vermont’s lady beetles.
Visit the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist where you can vote for the winner this month by clicking the ‘fave’ star on your favorite photo-observation. Make sure you get outdoors and record the biodiversity around you, then submit your discoveries and you could be a winner!