Every so often a specific insect population takes the top spot. I’m not sure whether it has anything to do with certain weather conditions or whether insects just have cycles. Judging by the amount of early Ten-spot ladybirds there are around at the moment this could well be the year of the ladybird.
If we are to have wonderful plagues of this small brightly coloured insect, it couldn’t have come at a better time. The reason I am so excited at the prospect of having swirling masses of one of my most favourite of insects is that it has come at a time when we are being invaded by an Asian strain that has been given the old world name from around 1779 of ‘harlequin.’ Oh how innocuous harlequin sounds to the ear! Yet it is larger and more deadly than every other ladybird we have on our shores and apparently besides eating both the young and fully grown adult ladybirds of the British Isles, also nests inside buildings in large quantities and it bites!!
The British ladybird ten-spot is well noted for its variety in appearance, which if anything helps the harlequin ladybird to stay hidden as it slowly creeps Northwards ..
I have taken a few pictures of some of the wonderful colour displays and variations of the ten-spot which are currently flying about.