Monday, October 16, 2006

The day of the harlequin

Today on an amazingly warm October afternoon I found my first harlequin ladybird, Harmonia axiridis, on ivy blossom in Hastings. During the next five minutes I found several colour forms, each on a different ivy each in the same small area. The red and orange ones are the succinea form and the black one with red spots the spectabilis form.

This very successful and aggressive invertebrate has been spreading through North America and Europe and, more recently, Britain. They tend to get to the food first and are therefore out-eating other ladybirds. They can also reach nuisance proportions when they hibernate in houses.

For more details of the harlequin see this link.

No comments: