Sunday, 6 February 2011

Harmonia axyridis succinea

An endangered species of ladybird. In mid-October this year I noticed a swarm of ladybirds congregating on the exterior walls of my house, there was clearly over 250 of them attracted to the microclimate offered by the south-facing white walls, I thought it was a bit strange but didn't pursue it in thought until I saw one recently huddled to my lamp shade. A quick bit of research later and turns out the Harmonia axyridis succinea is an endangered species and what I should have done was photograph them and send my observations to the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. Silly me. They will be back next year though, I am sure.

If you find a swarm of ladybirds, you should first identify them, there are lots of un-endangered species easily confusable with the Harmonia.
This website will help:

If they are Harlequin ladybirds then report your observations through the website but don't try to catch them and bring them inside. They are best to hibernate outside through winter as their body temperature must drop to conserve energy levels for them to mate successfully in spring.

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