David Element

Wildlife Photography

and Digital Video Images

____________________ Beetles 1 - Ladybirds 1





                                      ADONIS LADYBIRD Hippodamia variegata




                    CREAM-STREAKED LADYBIRD Harmonia quadripunctata




                                   ORANGE LADYBIRD Halyzia sedecimguttata




        SEVEN-SPOT LADYBIRD Coccinella septempunctata (POST-EMERGENCE)




                                     STRIPED LADYBIRD Myzia oblongoguttata






A potentially very damaging alien ladybird species, the Harlequin Ladybird Harmonia axyridis, has recently been recorded at various sites in the UK - see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4348881.stm for associated news report of Tuesday 15th March 2005. This insect is predatory on the same prey items (aphids, etc.) as the native ladybird species, but unfortunately also on those useful insects which naturally control garden and crop pests themselves, namely lacewings, hoverfly larvae and other ladybirds. If Harlequin Ladybirds become numerous (and they show every sign of doing so) then the natural balance between these predator and prey species could be irreparably damaged. Any sighting of this variably marked species should be reported and any suspected specimen collected for expert identification. A new webpage dedicated to this invasive species has now been added: Beetles 16.

For further instructions and information about the biology of this beetle see: http://www.harlequin-survey.org and for the current status in London see below:


And for additional identification photographs see:




Paul Mabbott, London Ladybird Recorder, has posted survey information about the current status of this species in London on the following webpage: http://www.ladybird-survey.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/harlequin.htm. According to Paul's data this ladybird is now believed to be absent from only five London Boroughs. The ladybirds seem to have a strong association with certain trees, particularly Sycamore, Lime and Horse Chestnut. At the time of writing the photographer had just recorded >150 individuals within in a couple of days, a mixture of adults, larvae, pre-pupae and pupae.


This insect is relatively large and oval in shape and some examples may be slightly larger than the native Seven-spot Ladybird. Eyed and Cream-streaked Ladybirds are also large, but these are more restricted in distribution (mainly found in coniferous woodlands). Some smaller native ladybirds are also very variable in appearance - see Beetles 7 for reference photographs of Two-spot and Ten-spot Ladybirds.


There is also a new general ladybird survey web-site at: http://www.ladybird-survey.org for records of other species.

Dr. Mike Majerus may be contacted at: m.majerus@gen.cam.ac.uk .









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