Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Harlequin Ladybird
Photograph: Nick Greatorex-Davies/ Centre for Ecology & Hydrology/ PA
Harlequin Ladybird, Harmonia axyridis.The Harlequin ladybird is also known as the Mutlicoloured Asian Ladybird due to its variable appearance and sometimes it can be difficult to tell apart from our native ladybirds. Originally spotted in the UK in 2004, this ladybird is widely seen as one of the most invasive species in Europe and is threatening native species. They tend to be large, 7-8mm, and colours range from yello, red and black with spot patterns.

Ladybirds undergo complete metamorphasis. Pre-adult development takes about 14-20 days at 25 degress and adults can begin to lay eggs after 5 days. A single female can lay over a thousand eggs. They feed mostly on aphids but will also predate other small insects and will feed on fruits, pollen etc.

Please note that if the insects are under 5mm it is almost certainly not a Harlequin ladybird.


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