Sunday, 22 May 2011
Ladybirds - a good year
My neighbour's plum tree has an aphid infestation and is a veritable ladybird motel. We thought there might be some inter-specific mating going on (see tradtional-looking type on top, top, and black one on top, below!)
Having looked at the ladybird survey I see that they are likely to all be Harlequin ladybirds, the common melanic (black) form and the usual orange one. They can have up to 21 spots which fuse in different ways, so they can look completely different within the species. This is an invasive alien species that outcompetes native types. They still eat aphids, though.