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Insects (assorted) Page 10

Image Taken on 09 Oct 2023 at 15:18    Image of day on 23 Nov 2023

After a summer of very few Ladybird sightings, but almost all of them as native 7-spot, we can't decide whether to be pleased or sorry to find about 50 of the invasive Harlequin Ladybirds on the south wall of the house. Here are a couple of them along the edge of the 'Patio Doors'. Unlike the UK varieties, Harlequin individuals vary enormously in appearance.

Ref: 20231123_df3_20231009_1518_018 2 harlequin ladybird from group of about 50 on south wall of house(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 27 May 2022 at 09:00    Image of day on 11 Jul 2022

Harlequin Ladybirds are very variable - even the two bottom left obviously know that the different markings don't matter!

Ref: 20220711_df3_20220527_0900_031-0902_037 harlequin ladybirds 1-4 of 4 (montage from 3 minute selection)(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

Image Taken on 03 Jun 2017 at 12:20    Image of day on 22 Jul 2017

Harlequin Ladybirds are extremely variable - here the female is covered in large dark spots and the male with no spots at all! But THEY obviously know that they are the same species!

Ref: 20170722_df3_20170603_1220_078 harlequin ladybirds mating - one spotless the other many spots(r+mb id@432).jpg

Image Taken on 24 May 2019 at 12:29    Image of day on 02 Jul 2019

If you look up Harlequin Ladybirds you will see a huge variety of appearances, not apparently related to their sex. But they know one another all-right!

Ref: 20190702_df5_20190524_1229_193 harlequin ladybirds mating with aphids on leaves(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 25 Jul 2009 at 13:21    Image of day on 01 Sep 2009

A harvestmen spider also found on the teasels & so photographed on one.

Ref: 20090901_da1_20090725_1321_285 ft1 harvestman on teasel (web crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 06 Sep 2008 at 10:47    Image of day on 26 Sep 2008

A Harvestman spider, first seen this year in the image for 19 Sep 2008, is this time seen mid-morning on buddleia leaves.

Ref: 20080926_p34_20080906_1047_543 harvestman spider(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 29 Aug 2008 at 03:44    Image of day on 19 Sep 2008

An assortment of creatures including a Harvestman spider on the apple at the left, and a slug on the apple at the right. Oh - and a fieldmouse (wood mouse)!

Ref: 20080919_d3b_20080829_0344_035 fb1 harvestman spider on apple and fieldmouse (wood mouse) on log(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 21 May 2019 at 08:16    Image of day on 25 Jun 2019

Hawthorn Blossom is forming patches of white hedge all over the area.

Ref: 20190625_df5_20190521_0816_012 hawthorn flowers with hover-fly(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 30 Oct 2011 at 10:15    Image of day on 11 Dec 2011

A really common insect - the Hawthorn Shieldbug, but none the less welcome for that, and seen very late in the season - an ever increasing trend of starting earlier, and for some carrying on later, depending on what limits their lifespan.

Ref: 20111211_p10_20111030_1015_738 hawthorn shieldbug (crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 30 Oct 2011 at 10:16    Image of day on 11 Dec 2011

Same individual, now on the stem of the fallen leaf showing the underside.

Ref: 20111211_p10_20111030_1016_745 hawthorn shieldbug (crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 22 Jul 2007 at 10:13    Image of day on 10 Aug 2007

New species for us. Found on agricultural fleece and moved to adjacent bush which could have been hawthorn if we had identified it at the time.

Ref: 20070810_p34_20070722_1013_612 hawthorn shieldbug (web crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 30 Oct 2010 at 12:27    Image of day on 01 Jan 2011

One of our Hazel tree/bushes has a particularly striking orange tinge. Here is one of the leaves with a capricious 7 spot Ladybird.

Ref: 20110101_p34_20101030_1227_270 hazel tree leaf with autumnal orange tinge & incidental 7-spot ladybird (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg




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