Thursday, 11 November 2010

Ladybird Alert (1): Late Arrival


Large Ladybird on the wall of our house

Two years ago I was doing a spot of Christmas shopping in November when I was stung by an unseasonal wasp and ended up at A&E. This year my late visitor was a more harmless one; more harmless, that is, as far as I am concerned. I would very much appreciate a firm ID, but I believe this may be my first Harlequin Ladybird.

Harlequins have been much in the news. They first reached the UK in 2004. I am told that they are not 'bad' or 'undesirable' in themselves. The papers tell us it's just that they do not belong here in the UK, where they interfere with the well-being of other Ladybirds.

I thought I should look up some facts. The Harlequin's name ironically is Harmonia axyridis. It belongs to the order of Coleoptera and the family of Coccinellidae. You can read more about it here. The Walton and District Garden and Allotment Society has a helpful feature on identification here.  

P.S. Other Harlequins were spotted in the area on 7 November, too. You might like to read this post on the Gower Wildlife blog.
 

6 comments:

leavesnbloom said...

Hi Caroline - as soon as I saw it I knew it was one of those harlequins. I'm sure the ladybird survey would love to see your lovely photos as I have sent them photos of my 7 spotted ones in the past.

Caroline Gill said...

Thank you, Rosie, on the strength of your identification, I filled in the form and submitted it, with photos.

grammie g said...

HI Caroline...I have thom here ..in fact one continued to crawl around the rim of my computer screen all evening a couple of night ago!! lol
I brushed it of a few times and gave up ..it just kept coming back!! : }

Andrea said...

Hi Caroline - they look pretty in macro photos but they are not so attractive in their natural state. They are common here so i dont bother taking their shots, but when i see them here in yours, i feel like taking photos of them myself next time. haha.

One said...

Hi Caroline, Great macro shots of ladybirds. Hmm...don't they migrate with the butterflies?

Crafty Green Poet said...

oh yes definitely a harlequin, not that I've ever seen one in real life, but they are bad news for other ladybirds...