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Ladybird ‘risk to 1,000 species’

June 30, 2009
Mutation happening as they breed. The spots and patterns vary. All look the same when squashed. The others can fly away home.
clipped from

Harlequin ladybirds (PA)
The insects are the fastest-spreading alien species on record
The Harlequin ladybird is putting over 1,000 species in the UK in peril, scientists have warned.

“The rate of spread is dramatic and unprecedented,” said Dr Helen Roy of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

The ladybird has spread to most parts of the UK in just four years, preying on many other insects.

However, research outlined at the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition suggests local ladybird parasites are adapting to prey on the interloper.

To help that process along, scientists are suggesting introducing a mite that renders the ladybirds infertile.

Originally from Asia, the harlequin preys on a wide variety of insects, including the larvae of other ladybirds, and will also eat fruit.

It was introduced in continental Europe to control pest insects.

First “spotted” in Essex in 2004, the invader was quickly classified as a major threat to the UK’s 45 native ladybird species.

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 19, 2011 11:48 am

    Just as good as the previous write-up. Do you need quite a few drafts to create a article?

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