30th March 2019

Seven spot native Ladybird

Mating seven spot ladybirds

Native Seven Spot Ladybird

Harlequin Ladybird, showing brown rather than black legs

The last couple of warm, bright days have brought many insects to the garden so I am spoiled for choice today but it has been encouraging to see several 7-spot Ladybirds, in fact a “loveliness” of them, the collective noun for ladybirds. For the last few years we have seen very few native-species ladybirds here, and the larger, more aggressive and non-native Harlequins, which only came to the UK in 2004, have dominated. Harlequins are a threat because they eat native species and also out-compete for food, although they eat many aphid and other pests just like out native species do. The last time we had a big influx of Ladybirds in this country was in the very hot summer of 1976 so maybe last years long, hot summer has boosted native numbers. If you can’t remember how to tell native species from Harlequins, native have black legs and Harlequins, which as their name implies come in many different colour and spot patterns, have brown legs (see photo’s). Conditions: Warm dry spell continues. Temperature: Max 13 Min 6C.

1 thought on “30th March 2019

  1. This morning I have found Harlequin butterflies all over the inside of my bedroom window, I can’t think how they got there. ‘A loveliness of ladybirds’, I love that.


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