Monday 30 June 2014

Ladybird Ladybird...

Front door and my sycamore tree proving attractive to ladybirds at the moment, but herein lies a tale. Most of the ladybirds I'm seeing are the invasive harlequins, large, agressive ladybirds that feed off our native species.

They have suddenly appeared in lage numbers, emerging from their larval forms - the sycamore leaves are covered in these - to feed off the huge number of aphids present. Thus they out-compete the native ladybirds they don't actually eat.

And this is why I'm just about seeing more harlequins than any other species at the moment, when a few years ago, the native 7 spot was probably most numerous.

Native black variant two spot ladybird on the front door
Harlequin type 1
Harlequin type 2, seemingly sporting the sign for Aries on its carapace
Harlequin larval husk
Another larval husk

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