You may have heard of Harlequin Ladybirds and how they may threaten our native 7-spot Ladybirds (just like Grey Squirrels wiping out our native Red Squirrel from most of Britain). If you would like to play a part in the research you can supply data to the Harlequin Ladybird Survey. On the web site there are detailed descriptions and photographs of how to identify a Harlequin Ladybird at all stages of its life-cycle.
I filled in a survey form on Friday, I had seen adult Harlequin Ladybirds in our house over the winter and had seen then in the garden this spring, last week I spotted the larva on a peony leaf . . .
Close up, you can see it's a dramatic looking beast! Covered with branched 'spines' and is dramatically coloured blue-black and orange.
So, if you're sitting in a garden with a G&T or a cold beer or dead-heading the roses, take a minute to look out for Harlequins and record your sighting on the on-line survey.
River Diary by Ronald Blythe
12 minutes ago