Columbus, Ohio (AP) -- People around Ohio, including the wife of Gov. Ted Strickland, are looking out for ladybugs as part of an Ohio State University research project.
Ohio State entomologist Mary Gardiner wants to find out whether species of the speckled beetle that are native to Ohio are being muscled out by invaders.
The insect specialist has distributed 180 kits to Ohioans, including first lady Frances Strickland, so they can collect ladybug specimens.
The kits include a card coated with a sticky substance and are to be placed in gardens during four collection periods during this month and August.
Gardiner says she hopes to learn more about the populations of four invasive species and 10 natives, including the convergent lady beetle, Ohio's official state insect.
(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
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