Friday, 30 October 2009

harlequin ladybirds get ready for winter

Ladybirds hibernate in groups over winter. Any dry corner will do. They find corners of sheds attractive and I spotted several groups in a hide at Rutland Water Nature Reserve.

You will see a wide variation in their colouration and number of spots .

Harlequins are steadily moving up the country. The concern is that they are displacing native species.... or interbreeding with them, impacting on native biodiversity.

We can only watch powerless during this remorseless, conquering northward march. We do not know the long term impact that harlequins will have on our native ladybirds and other wildlife. We can only look grimly at the example already set by the American crayfish and the collapse in our native crayfish populations and the grey squirrel and the wiping out of our native red squirrel.

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