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Insects (assorted) Page 8

Image Taken on 27 Apr 2008 at 08:51    Image of day on 13 May 2008

While about to photograph the growing 'candle' on our selected horse-chestnut we noticed this Shieldbug. Now we have the authoritative and nicely presented tome on the subject 'The ... Shieldbugs and Squashbugs of the British Isles' by 'Evans and Edmondson' we are (reasonably) confident of the identification.

Ref: 20080513_p34_20080427_0851_182 green shieldbug (palomena prasina) adult on horse chestnut leaf(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 15 Sep 2019 at 12:33    Image of day on 27 Oct 2019

Two weeks later we see our third Green Shieldbug of this season, here in the hand. Looks like this species is having a 'good year'.

Ref: 20191027_d73_20190915_1233_025 green shieldbug in the hand(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 03 Aug 2019 at 09:14    Image of day on 23 Sep 2019

The flowering Mint has run riot this year after the warm spell gave it an early start, and is attracting masses of insects. Here a Greenbottle and a Long Hover-fly share adjacent flower spikes.

Ref: 20190923_df3_20190803_0914_004 greenbottle (lucilia caesar) + long hover-fly (sphaerophoria scripta) on mint flowers(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 13 Jul 2017 at 16:57    Image of day on 28 Aug 2017

A Greenbottle on a thistle head.
Apparently Greenbottles (as opposed to Bluebottles) rarely enter houses.

Ref: 20170828_df3_20170713_1657_012 greenbottle fly on thistle head (crop 1)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 13 Jul 2017 at 16:57    Image of day on 28 Aug 2017

Here is a tighter crop of the Greenbottle showing all the tiny hairs and the worn back edge of the wings from brushing them on foliage.

Ref: 20170828_df3_20170713_1657_012 greenbottle fly on thistle head (crop 2)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 23 Aug 2008 at 11:11    Image of day on 09 Sep 2008

A visitor spotted that our watermint was covered in these iridescent flies - Greenbottles according to our book

Ref: 20080909_da1_20080823_1111_023 greenbottle fly on water mint(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 27 Sep 2009 at 16:13    Image of day on 29 Oct 2009

This side view shows it chewing successive arcs out of the leaf.

Ref: 20091029_p34_20090927_1613_332 grey dagger moth caterpillar eating blackthorn leaf(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 27 Sep 2009 at 13:53    Image of day on 29 Oct 2009

This beauty was on the top of a 1.5m high hedge. The moth that will emerge is a rather drab affair in shades of grey that we don't seem ever to have photographed. The 2 bumps and strange angle are quite normal according to 'the book'.

Ref: 20091029_p34_20090927_1353_304 grey dagger moth caterpillar on blackthorn (web crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 08 Sep 2011 at 11:50    Image of day on 04 Nov 2011

"What - ME?"

Ref: 20111104_d35_20110908_1150_002_fb4 grey squirrel vertically poised over food with fly(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 27 May 2017 at 09:47    Image of day on 22 Jul 2017

Harlequin Ladybirds are here to stay - we might as well start enjoying them!

Ref: 20170722_df3_20170527_0947_019 harlequin ladybird(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 05 Sep 2020 at 09:20    Image of day on 18 Oct 2020

Worryingly few Ladybirds of any sort at the moment. This seems to be one of the huge number of variants of Harlequin Ladybirds.

Ref: 20201018_d73_20200905_0920_001 harlequin ladybird (14 spots)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 16 Jul 2015 at 13:33    Image of day on 15 Sep 2015

We identify this as a Harlequin ladybird still shedding it's larval skin. There were several such insects grouped in a couple of metres of hedge which next day was alive with yellow and black adult Harlequins.

Ref: 20150915_df3_20150716_1333_006 harlequin ladybird finishing moult (crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 20 Aug 2009 at 13:05    Image of day on 06 Oct 2009

And now a montage of a couple of separate flights. Never caught this one in focus with it's wings down.
If your are surprised it is a Harlequin (about the same size as a 7-spot) have a look at

Ref: 20091006_da1_20090820_1305_021+1302_015_ft1 harlequin ladybird in flight (montage of separate flights)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 20 Aug 2009 at 13:01    Image of day on 06 Oct 2009

We have had Harlequin Ladybirds for a few years now, but this year have only found a couple against 2 dozen or 7-spots - hopefully a good trend. However, it obliged with flying for us so, this one gets it's place on the site.
First just after taking off from the hawthorn leaf.

Ref: 20091006_da1_20090820_1301_008_ft1 harlequin ladybird in flight from hawthorn (web crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 18 Jul 2015 at 10:23    Image of day on 15 Sep 2015

Here is one of the 'finished' Harlequins in all her smooth and glossy glory. The spot pattern is undoubtedly different - Harlequin Ladybird are unbelievably varied for a single species.

Ref: 20150915_p10_20150718_1023_575 harlequin ladybird in hedge where ladybirds finishing moult seen (mirrored crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 05 Oct 2018 at 12:30    Image of day on 26 Nov 2018

More 7-spot ladybirds this year than Harlequin ladybirds, but this is one of the latter walking on the late flowering Ivy.

Ref: 20181126_df3_20181005_1230_017 harlequin ladybird on ivy flower(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 15 Sep 2016 at 12:38    Image of day on 04 Nov 2016

3 frames of a Harlequin Ladybird crawling over a teasel, open its wing cases for an unusually long time before lift-off. In the bottom right image you can see that the wing case is well lit inside and must be translucent with the spots also clearly visible.

Ref: 20161104_df3_20160915_1238_011+015+018 harlequin ladybird on teasel head opening wings 1-3 of 3 (adjusted montage 2)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 08 Jul 2019 at 16:34    Image of day on 25 Aug 2019

What we identify as the Larva of Harlequin Ladybird. The white spines all over the head really look very strange.

Ref: 20190825_df3_20190708_1634_022 harlequin ladybird pupa with spines over head (crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 08 Jun 2018 at 14:41    Image of day on 14 Jul 2018

This less welcome visitor is one of the huge number of Harlequin Ladybird forms, this one with hardly any visible spots. These foreign invaders (since 2004) are here to stay and we will have to get used to them. Down the edge of the stinging nettle leaf you can see the poison loaded needles ready to punish any inadvertant contact.

Ref: 20180714_df3_20180608_1441_021 harlequin ladybird with red body almost spot free(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 19 Jul 2015 at 12:27    Image of day on 22 Sep 2015

We have seen a few Harlequin Ladybirds in the last few years, but this year there are hundreds. They come in a bewildering range of appearances - here are 25 of our own pics showing only some of the variety including some still shedding their larval skins. Note: Not to scale.
The best identification page we know of is at
Click on the pictorial table of insects to see them in larger size. They are an invasive species, and some people think it is right to kill them on sight - we don't. If you take this approach though, be very careful that they ARE harlequins and not some unusual UK species as others have unfortunately managed.

Ref: 20150922_p10_20150719_1227_599-20150721_1107_666 harlequin ladybirds in north hedge assortment (montage not to scale)(r+mb id@1024).jpg




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