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Black Ladybirds


Lotus
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Anyone else got loads of these invading the house?

 

Apparently they eat they eat or kill the normal Ladybirds (red with black spots).

 

The new ones are black with red spots, same size like.

 

There's a Ladybird war going on, good verses evil.

 

Moody.

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The ladybird beetle holds a warm place in European art and folklore rarely reserved for insects.  As an enemy of aphids, bringer of money or good fortune, and favored insect of the Virgin Mary, people have shown a fondness for ladybugs for many hundreds of years.  The traditional poem above is still repeated today, but has murky origins in European folklore. Some claim that it originated in medieval Europe, where the burning of hop vines in Fall would cause an exodus of ladybugs and burn their helpless larvae. (Cluasen  1961).  Others say it may have its roots in the Egyptian scarab, which was associated with rebirth and the fiery orange of the sun.  (Hubbel  1993).

 

Favoured insect of the Virgin Mary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How would they know? Further research indicates that the Virgin Mary was often depicted (in early Religious paintings) as wearing a red cloak with seven black spots representing the 7 joys and 7 sorrows.

 

This is from The Daily Mail Online, unsurprisingly....

 

 

 

Don't be fooled by appearances. It may look like the same delicate insect which has graced our gardens for centuries.

 

But the invader heading north through Britain in huge numbers is anything but innocent.

 

The harlequin ladybird is a poisonous and cannibalistic variety from Asia with the capability to devour our native species.

 

 

 

Harlequin ladybird

 

Foreign species: Overrunning homes in London and the South East

Enlarge the image

 

It is not content to stay in the garden, relishing warmth and often finding its way indoors.

 

Hundreds of homeowners have reported plagues inside.

 

Worse, it produces a noxious, foul-smelling chemical that can stain furniture. Worse still, its bite can trigger an allergic reaction.

 

At around 7mm in diameter the harlequin, or harmonia axyridis, is considerably bigger and more aggressive than most of our native types, such as the two-spot or seven-spot, and will breed several times a year.

 

If stocks of aphids run low, it turns to other ladybirds for food.

 

Since the first one was spotted in Britain in 2004, the insect has bred with astonishing ferocity.

 

Some experts believe there are close to a billion in the UK, enough to seriously threaten the 46 native varieties.

 

It is already the dominant variety in London and most of the South East.

 

Its appearance varies hugely, making it hard to detect, but it is usually orange with 15 to 20 black spots or black with either two or four red or orange spots.

 

Dr Mike Majerus, a Cambridge University academic who first warned of the threat three years ago, said: "They are as far north as Durham now, and it's very possible that we may get them in Scotland by the end of the year.

 

"They normally try to find southfacing mountains over the winter.

 

"But of course, we are a little short of mountains in England so they make do with pale-coloured southfacing walls.

 

"I had an email from someone who says the entire side of their house is covered. For the first time we are seeing plagues of them in homes."

 

Harlequins are known in America as Halloween ladybirds because they appear at the end of October.

 

They were introduced to the US from Asia 25 years ago as a form of pest control and spread to Europe.

 

Dr Peter Brown, of the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology in Monks Wood, Cambridgeshire, which is monitoring the invasion, said its speed was "phenomenal".

 

"The future for native ladybirds is not looking good," he said.

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