Saturday, 27 June 2009

Camera Critters - Harlequin ladybird larva

My son-in-law found this little creature galloping across my husband's back. He put it on his arm so Barry could photograph it. Little beastie was desperate to hide and and was moving very quickly. Finally when it looked as if it might sting or lay eggs on him he shook it off onto some clean washing.

We didn't know what it was but thought it might be some kind of beetle. Book and internet searches revealed it as a Harlequin ladybird larva. This is an invasive introduced species and feeds voraciously on aphids but if these are in short supply it will prey on native ladybirds, consuming eggs, larvae and pupae and moth and butterfly eggs and caterpillars. It has also shown cannibalistic tendencies when food is scarce. It has been present in the UK since 2004 and is colonising rapidly.
Very smart in its black and yellow livery though, isn't it?


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Thank you to Misty Dawn for this meme.

11 comments:

  1. It's such good luck when a ladybug lands on you! Surely that applies to the larvae too? :)

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  2. I'd never thought of it like that!

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  3. interesting critter have never seen a bug like that before. I don't do Camera critters until Sunday. My Saturday post are photo hunt and Raven's wordzzle Challenge. Have a great weekend

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  4. The larvae are other-worldy in appearance, aren't they? Who would guess they would morph into a cute bug?

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  5. Ohmigod! spooky!
    I cannot stare it! hehehe
    purrs and love
    Luna(from Brazil)

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  6. Interesting, educational post. Thanks!

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  7. Lovely and a little scary shot ;)
    LOL

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  8. Hmmm ... a new critter to me! Thanks for the added info ;--)
    Hugs and blessings,

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  9. It is a shame that they are damaging our native ladybirds. I have seen a lot of them in this area over the last few years. We saw a strange little creature at lunchtime today-it looked like a miniature ladybird. I knew what ladybird lavae look like though so am not sure what it was!
    Sorry to hear about your daughter's Ofsteds-being in special measures must put such a strain on all the staff and knowing that her daughter's school is not soing well is a worry.

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