SCIENTIFIC NAME:  (Petromyzon marinus)

A native of the Atlantic Ocean, the sea lamprey is an eel-like aquatic vertebrate that grows to a average length of eighteen inches.  These jawless creatures have suction mouths with sharp teeth enabling them to feed on large fish.  Lampreys prefer to live in deep, cold, high quality water, with an abundant food supply of lake trout and other fish.


The sea lamprey was a major cause of the collapse of the lake trout and whitefish populations in the Great Lakes during the 1940’s and 1950’s.  They attach to the side of a fish and feed on the body fluids, often scarring and killing the host fish.  Lampreys may kill up to forty pounds of fish in a lifetime.


Populations of sea lamprey are difficult to control because as water quality improves, their habitat increase.  In addition, there are no natural predators to help control the population.  Females lay from 50,000 to 100,000 eggs per year.  These eggs hatch into larvae that burrow into the streambed where they live from two to seventeen years.  Emerging as adults, they float downstream, attach to fish and begin to feed.



SCIENTIFIC NAME:  (Neogobius melanostomus)

The round goby may pose a serious threat to North American water ecosystems, with potential impact on sport and commercial fishing.  Since its discovery in the St. Clair River in 1990, this bottom-dwelling fish has rapidly spread to many areas of the Great Lakes.  Once established, populations typically increase quickly.  The round goby can displace native fish, eat their eggs and young, take over optimal habitat, spawn multiple times a season, and survive in poor quality water—giving them a competitive advantage. 

Anglers, commercial fisherman, and fishery professionals should know how to identify the round goby.  Often, anglers are the first to discover round gobies, because these aggressive fish are commonly caught by hook and line.  Your help is vital to report new sightings and to prevent their spread.


bulletLearn to identify the round goby.
bulletAlways drain water from your boat, livewell, and bilge before leaving any water access.
bulletAlways dispose of your unwanted bait on land,
bulletNever dip your bait bucket into a lake or river if it has water in it from another.
bulletNever dump live fish from one body of water into another.
bulletIf you catch a round goby in the Great Lakes (except Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River or western Lake Erie) or other waters, kill it, freeze it, and call the Michigan Sea Grant Program or a local DNR fishery office.  DO NOT THROW IT BACK ALIVE!


Round gobies are bottom-dwelling fish that perch on rock and other substrate.  They can grow to 250 mm (10 inches) as adults.  Gobies have large heads, soft bodies, and dorsal fins lacking spines; they slightly resemble large tadpoles.  The gobies’ unique feature is their fused pelvic (bottom) fins, which form a suctorial disk.  In flowing water habitats, this suction disk aids in anchoring the fish to the substrate.  Young round gobies are a solid slate gray; larger individuals have blotches of black and brown over their bodies, and their dorsal fin may be tinged with green.

Round gobies look similar to sculpins, a native, bottom-dwelling fish occasionally caught by anglers.  Sculpins, also call muddlers or Miller’s thumb, are usually solid brown or mottled.  Both sculpins and goby males can appear almost solid black during spawning.  Round gobies have a distinctive large black spot on the front dorsal fin; and a sculpins often have a dark spot in the same location  Sculpins can most easily be distinguished from gobies by their separate pelvic fins.

Asian Lady Beetle (Common Name-Ladybug):   

Asian Lady Beetles
This section is designed to clear up information and misinformation regarding lady beetles (ladybugs).  References for the answers to the many questions are provided. 

Was there a superabundance of Asian Lady Beetles in Michigan during Year 2001?  There were extremely large populations produced in 2000/2001 all across the Great Lakes Region. (Tom Ellis, MSU Entomologist) 

Why were there so many Asian Lady Beetles in Michigan during Year 2001?  There was an enormous population explosion of the ladybugs principal prey, the aphid. The reason for this was because weather conditions were perfect for aphid reproduction and survival during the summer of 2000. So, lots of food for the Asian ladybug produced tremendous number of ladybugs by summers end. (Tom Ellis, MSU Entomologist) 

Do Asian Lady Beetles have spots? What color are they? Color variants found in the United States are different shades of yellow, orange, or red, either with or without black spots on the wing covers. Some have 19 black spots while others have faded spots that vary in number and size. Click Here to view a good web site, with photographs, on lady beetles.

Where did Asian Lady Beetles come from?  Were they intentionally released?  By who?  The multicolored Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis) is native to Asia but occurs in many areas of the United States. This beneficial insect was imported and released as early as 1916 in attempts to naturally control certain insect pests. But the first populations were not found in this country until 1988 in Louisiana near the busy port of New Orleans. Over the years, federal, state and private entomologists released the insect at a number of locations.  But it was not detected in these places until some years after it had became established in Louisiana. In addition, accidental entries have occurred via imported nursery items at ports in Delaware and South Carolina. Thus, it is uncertain whether the beetle's establishment resulted from planned releases, accidental entries or both. 

Do they bite people and/or livestock?  The Asian ladybug might take a nip out of your finger if handled.  If you get nipped, clean and treat bite with an antibiotic as a precaution against a secondary infection. There have been a couple of cases of allergies linked to Asian ladybugs. The patients experienced itchy eyes, sneezing, congestion and a runny nose. from Tom Ellis, MSU entomologist Although an uncommon occurrence, multicolored Asian lady beetles have been reported to nibble, nip, or "bite" humans. These lady 
beetles are not aggressive toward humans, and they simply may be examining an unfamiliar substrate or they may be seeking moisture. Their occasional nibbling is not reported to break the skin or draw human blood. 

Do Asian Lady Beetles eat plants and/or fruit?  Yes, this has been documented. It is unclear whether they are damaging the fruit directly, or simply taking advantages of wounds already in the fruit. For more information, see the MSU Fruit CAT Alert at 

Do Asian Lady Beetles have natural predators/parasites?  Do they taste bad?  If agitated or squashed, the beetles may exhibit a defensive reaction known as "reflex bleeding," in which a yellow fluid with an unpleasant odor is released from leg joints. This reaction generally prevents predators, such a birds, from eating lady beetles.  In 1993, North Carolina Department of Agriculture researchers documented substantial levels of parasitism (14.2%) of the multicolored Asian lady beetle by a tachinid fly. However, parasitism levels subsequently dropped to an average of 2 to 4% from 1994 through 1999 in North Carolina (C.A. Nalepa & K.A. Kidd, personal communication), suggesting that this parasitoid does not cause significant mortality of multicolored Asian lady beetles. 

What harm, if any, do they do to the environment?  There is some controversy regarding the origins of this nonnative species. Nonetheless, the multicolored Asian lady beetle is now well established in the United States, where it currently thrives in many parts of the Midwest, East, South, and Northwest. This nonnative species appears to be displacing some of our native lady beetles in Ohio. 

Are Asian Lady Beetles crossbreeding with native lady beetles?  No references suggesting that this is true can be found in the literature. 

What do native lady beetles look like?  There are some pictures of native lady beetles on the Iowa State University web site at

Are there any surveys that keep track of insect populations in the state of Michigan?  I do not know of a statewide survey of all insects. Michigan State University Extension is collecting data on the nuisance ladybird beetle calls they are receiving this year in the county MSUE offices. The MSU Extension CAT alert system also keeps track of pests that may potentially damage agriculture and/or the green industry. You can view CAT alerts at The Michigan Natural Features Inventory keeps track of threatened and endangered species. You can visit them at

Do Asian Lady Beetles harm clothing or structures?  An orange liquid is expelled when Asian ladybugs are crushed. This fluid can stain some surfaces and fabrics. (Tom Ellis, MSU Entomologist) Lady beetles are not structure-damaging pests, unlike insects such as termites and carpenter ants. Lady beetles do not chew or bore holes in walls or eat carpet or furniture. They do not lay their eggs in homes. 

Darren Bagley, Natural Resource Agent 
MSU Extension-Genesee County 
G-4215 W. Pasadena 
Flint, MI 48504-2376 
tel: (810) 244-8524 fax: (810) 732-1400 
web site: