Saturday, 16 February 2008


So we opened the bedroom window to find a horde of ladybirds! These are mostly harlequin ladybirds, which are an evil alien invader! There are a few native ones in there, but they're mostly harlequins.

As you can see, they're very variable in pattern, some orange with black spots, some black with red or orange spots.

They're bigger and more aggressive than our native species, and eat a wider variety of food, including other ladybirds. The impression I get is that they'll clear all the greenfly and other suitable ladybird food from an area, and the locals will then starve. That might just be me making it up, of course. Unfortunately they don't taste as nice as grey squirrel!

Anyhow, the story of this horde is that last autumn we noticed ladybirds climbing up the east-facing gable end of the house, so collected a few in case they were harlequins and sent them off to Cambridge for identification. And they were. We promptly forgot all about them, until we opened the window. Amazed is something of an understatement!

There are fewer of them now, of course, since opening the window disturbed them a bit, and closing it again crushed some of those foolish enough to move around.


A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Well now, I've learned something - I thought all ladybirds were good guys. Must look up the aliens. M x

Helena said...

Hurrah! It's not just me....

Rob Clack said...

Ha ha! Welcome helena. Glad to see we're not the only ones to not clean the black muck off the windowframes!