Rob Coleman's picture

East coast ladybird invasion

Observed: 25th July 2009 By: Rob ColemanInvertebrates expert
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Description:

Many 7-spot and some 2-spot ladybirds all week. What's it like in other places?

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Seven-spot Ladybird (Coccinella 7-punctata) interacts

Comments

Martin Harvey's picture

migrants

Haven't noticed anything unusual in ladybird numbers here in land-locked Buckinghamshire. There are a few migrant moths about (Silver Y, Rush Veneer), and a lot of Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus) today. Also lots of Large White butterflies, some of which could be migrants.

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Entomologist and biological recorder

miked's picture

loads of these ladybirds at

loads of these ladybirds at Titchwell, Norfolk yesterday

colhig17's picture

Ladybird numbers

There's a BBC story about 10 million ladybirds descending on a farm in Somerset, apparently because of the aphids which are feeding on the sedum they grow for green roofs. A green virtuous circle?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8171461.stm

Colin

"Wildlife is for Everyone"

bobthebirder's picture

ladybirds

Haven't seen many in Dorset lately, but I'm leading a walk around Portland tomorrow so will report back then.

Bob Ford

the naturalist man's picture

Ladybird numbers

I was out minibeasting in a churchyard at Robin Hood's Bay yesterday and did not notice anything unusual in ladybird abundance other than finding three speices; 7-, 14-, and 24-spot ladybirds. 24-spots are not common here, so a good find.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'
http://www.ispot.org.uk/forum/8411

Martin Harvey's picture

source of ladybirds

When Rob posted this observation I jumped to the conclusion that these would have been migrants from the continent, but this is probably incorrect - I think I've been given the explanation before but I'd forgotten! An informative account of what's going on has recently been posted on the British Beetles egroup by John Muggleton:

"As far as I am aware there is no evidence that any of our native ladybirds cross the English Channel/North Sea (the same may not be true of Harlequin Ladybirds). I think it is generally accepted that the coastal swarms we see in this country are the result of population explosions inland from which adults move in search of food and inevitably, as we live on an island, come to the coast.

"Flying out to sea they are blown back to the shore by onshore winds or drown in the sea and are washed up on the tideline. Swarms of ladybirds can occur all round the coast of Great Britain and are seen somewhere most years."

Quoted from the beetles-britishisles egroup:
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/beetles-britishisles/

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Entomologist and biological recorder

tootsietim's picture

7 spot ladybird invasion. Norfolk.

there is currently a large "invasion" of 7 spot ladybirds occurring on the norfolk coast, especially at Cromer.
I was there the evening of 05 august 2009 and the ground was, in places, thick with the bodies of dead and dying ladybirds.
The seedheads of umbellifers on the cliff tops had the appearance of being laden with berries, such was the number of ladybirds clustered on them.
Among the countless thousands of 7 spots, we did manage to find, 2 spot, 22 spot and I believe a 14 spot. Of course whether these were associated with the Invasion or natural reidents of the area i cannot say. I have found 14 spot in the area previously.