|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.