andrew's picture


Observed: 18th October 2013 By: andrewandrew’s reputation in Invertebratesandrew’s reputation in Invertebrates
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) interacts


charlieb's picture


Happy to be proven wrong but it looks like a harly to me ;-)

Joe Botting's picture


Ok, now I'm worried if you're saying that, Charlie... I've never seen a harly with this arrangement of spots on the front half of the forewings only, but it's the most common form of the l0-spot that I meet... and the pronotum markings also seem spot on to me, although I appreciate that harlies can be very similar. What is it that says harlequin to you..?

charlieb's picture

I wouldnt put money on it...

Not an uncommon form of the harlequin, at least round here (we seem to have everything in between all black and all red). E.g. see:

Nothing to particular which makes me think harlequin - constant colour of elytra and shinyness make me think harlequin more than anything (the succinea type 10-spots always seem to look like a watercolour painting or 'worn'

Joe Botting's picture


I can definitely see what you mean with that - there are some variations I'd not come across, and it does include the one here within the range.

I've got to admit the shininess did look a little bright for ten-spot, but I'm never quite sure with photos what is real and what is flash or reflected sunlight. They also tend to have a paler margin to the elytra, which I half-persuaded myself I could see here, but wasn't quite convinced.

We might have to leave this one open, I guess - but it's a really interesting example. Thanks for picking me up on it. :o)

wildaboutnature's picture

Hi guys, have tweeted this

Hi guys, have tweeted this one just to see if we can stimulate even more discussion - am keen to see if we can get a consensus!
Andrew - if you see this, can you give us any indications of the length of this ladybird?

Clare Flynn

rimo's picture

Wow, that's a horrible

Wow, that's a horrible specimen to do from a photo! I'm confident that it's a Harlequin, though it is very similar to a weakly-marked 10-spot f. decempunctata.

Shoulder spots. The Harlequin typically has 2, Adalia only has one, but the Adalia's spots are further out, in the corner of the shoulder. The innermost of the Harlequin's two shoulder spots is placed where this individual has its spots.

Spot rows. The Harlequin usually has 4 rows of spots (arranged 2-3-3-1 front to back), whereas Adalia has 3 (1-3-1). Consequently the second row of spots is slightly further forward in the Harlequin, as here - in Adalia it's more central.

There's a few minor points too: Harlequin has a stronger elytral fold than does Adalia (it's quite strong here), and loses the scutellary spot more readily than does Adalia (completely absent here). Also, pale Adalia individuals often have a more marked pale band around the edge of the elytra than do Harlequins - it's present here at the elytral apices but quite faint.

To be absolutely sure we'd need size, a ventral view, or to check the morphology of the tarsal claws, but I'm happy this is a Harlequin

Record your ladybird sightings!

Joe Botting's picture

Alright, I'm convinced...

I'm not going to argue with that lot of observations, Rimo - it's far more detail than I'd looked in, so I'm happy to admit defeat on this one. Very interesting discussion - I had never thought I'd get a ten-spot and a harlequin mixed up (even from a photo) before this. Thanks for your input. :o)