A rare ladybug discovered in Montana has the unique ability of hiding its head in its neck. The new bug, named “Winton’s Ladybird Beetle,” represents an entirely new genus of ladybugs.
The International Herald Tribune reports that the rare ladybug was captured by Ross Winton in 2009. At the time, Winton, an entomology graduate student at Montana State University, thought that he had discovered a headless ladybug. Winton, now a wildlife technician in Idaho, then noticed that the bug had the ability to duck its head into its shell like a turtle.
Reuters reports that only two specimens of the rare ladybug have been discovered. Winton’s Ladybird Beetle is about the size and color of a grain of sand and is considered the rarest ladybug in the United States.
Winton’s Ladybird beetle’s official name is Allenius iviei, which was chosen in honor of Winton’s former Montana State University professor, Michael Ivie.
Ivie said: “It’s a whole new kind of ladybug. Whatever this does, it is very specialized. It’s quite the exciting little beast.”
Ivie said that the bug probably preys on aphids and other small plant pests but he isn’t sure why the bug ducks its head under it’s shell.