At the moment.... mostly about moths
Wednesday, 29 July 2009
Harlequin Ladybird (not)
The Harelquin Ladybird is an invasive alien species that arrived in the UK a few years ago. It's of particular concern because it is highly competitive with native species for prey (e.g aphids) and is also known to regard native ladybird species as prey so will consume them directly. I first saw this species in our garden in 2006. By 2007 the numbers were up and last year we were inundated. I didn't make systematic counts, but there must easily have been 100 larvae at any one time. It seemed that the Harlequin had taken over our garden. This year though... I've seen 1 or 2 and no more and they were only adults, i haven't seen any larvae, not as yet anyway. Not only that but there are plenty of 7 spots around, and I've seen orange, 10 spot and 22 spot. So what's happened? Is it just our garden, or is this more widespread? And why? The only reason I can think of is maybe the cold weather over the winter - did that kill 'em all off? Maybe something else is eating them. I don't know. Anybody else seen this? Or are they just as common as last year?