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Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia Axyridis)


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This ladybird is native to Asia and has been used extensively around the world for biological control of various aphid species. Its establishment appears to decrease the diversity of native ladybirds. It has a typical coccinellid beetle shape i.e. oval and convex, with a smooth transition between the elytra (wing coverings), pronotum and head. Adults measure between 5-8mm in length and 4-7 mm in width (larger than most other species). Its appearance is very variable (polymorphic) with elytra ranging from pale yellow-orange to black bearing 0-19 spots. The life stages include - eggs, five larval stages, pupa and adult. The larvae have tubercles and spines which are elongate and somewhat flattened. Mature larvae are distinctive in their coloring which is black to dark bluish-gray, with a prominent bright yellow-orange patch extending over the abdominal segments 1-5 on each side. This beetle has good eyesight. It overwinters in crevices and other confined spaces and becomes active at temperatures above 10������°c. Like other ladybirds it uses the chemical isopropyl methoxy pyrazine to deter predators. It can also give a small bite if provoked. The first specimen in Britain was only found in September 2004 and was melanic - black with two or four red patches. Picture taken at Felmersham Nature Reserve on 15/7/2011

7th Apr 2013 by Diane Earl

Biology, Environmental Science

Key Stages:
Foundation, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+

Geocode: Felmersham Nature Reserve
Date of artefact: 15th July 2011

ladybird ladybug invertebrate insect beetle

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