Ladybird, ladybird where have you been?
Have you seen your first ladybird wandering around this spring? I did a few weeks ago down by the River Almond in Perthshire. As I was taking a photograph of an old Cytisus scoparius/scotch broom seed head along the river bank I noticed there on the stem was a little 7 spot ladybird. Its botanical name is Coccinella 7-punctata and is the most common species in the UK.
|First ladybird sighting of the year|
Here in the UK you can take part in the yearly Ladybird Survey and I submitted these photographs today to the survey.
Here is the seedhead that lead me to find the ladybird.
Why is this so important these days to record Ladybird sightings?
In the UK we are being invaded by Harlequin ladybirds.
Taken from the Ladybird site:
A new ladybird has arrived in Britain . But not just any ladybird: this is the harlequin ladybird, Harmonia axyridis, the most invasive ladybird on Earth.
The harlequin ladybird was introduced to North America in 1988, where it is now the most widespread ladybird species on the continent. It has already invaded much of of north-western Europe, and arrived in Britain in summer 2004.
There are 46 species of ladybird (Coccinellidae) resident in Britain and the recent arrival of the harlequin ladybird has the potential to jeopardise many of these.
In the UK there is also a survey form to fill in if you find a Harlequin Ladybird
in your area. Most of the sightings so far have been in the South of England. On the Map
there were sightings of this ladybird in my area during 2009 so I’ll be on the lookout this year.For now no one is really sure how much damage this Harlequin will do to
our native species.
Its only through this survey that the scientists can
keep track of the native and non native species – and its up to us to
send them in the details they need.If anyone does come across a
they are to just to try and take a photo of it and then leave
as the scientists want to study its behaviour “in the field”.
Do any of you watch for the sightings of the first ladybirds in your area?
If you like you can leave your sighting details in the comments section of this post or if you live in the UK you could possibly take part in the Ladybird survey by clicking on this button.