Friday, 5 August 2016
Ladybird with a black blotch
I am always on the look-out for unusual Ladybirds! And in my neck of the woods I have seen very few Ladybirds of any kind in recent days.
The one in these photos was making the most of the aphids on the Nasturtium leaves at the RSPB Flatford Wildlife Garden last weekend.
It looks large in the photos, but it was 7-spot-sized rather than Harlequin. The large black blotch on the elytra intrigued me. I was informed by the UK Ladybird Survey that a previous Ladybird with unusual markings was indeed a 7-spot, but that the insect in question had probably suffered from frost damage or had received its markings on account of a genetic mutation. The black blotch on this Flatford Ladybird shows up particularly well in the last photo, as the insect scuttles into the Nasturtium plant.
STOP PRESS: on the subject of collecting insect data (as opposed to the current craze for imaginary figures ...), take a look at this thought-provoking post from the Centre for Hydrology and Ecology.