“Home-grown ladybirds put to flight by alien invasion”

Harlequin ladybird (Harmonia axyridis succinea) - start of the local  invasion

Harlequin ladybird. Image: nutmeg66

“An explosion in the population of an aggressive foreign ladybird is threatening to devastate Britain’s indigenous species, wildlife experts fear.

The spread of the harlequin, a ladybird originally from Asia, has been traced across much of the South Coast where it has begun forming swarms for the first time since arriving in 2004.

Numbers of the voracious harlequin, which was originally introduced as an agent of pest control in France, Belgium and Holland, have grown out of control.

They now threaten to ‘out compete’ other types of ladybirds for their principal food source, aphids.”

    Yet another example of biological pest control gone wrong. This summer my mum spotted the first harlequin in her county – not a happy record to have.

See also: Harlequin Survey