Ladybird Watch

Posted: July 16, 2011 in Allotment, minor rant
Tags: , , ,

Have been a bit slack of late, but the week seems to have been spent ranting about ladybirds.

Last week, I went to the allotment to finally plant out the tomatoes and some flowers, and do yet more weeding.

I was really pleased to see a yellow ladybird on the mint – have only ever seen one on the allotment before – they were really common when I was a kid, though I think they are more prevalent in the Midlands….

I was about to dig up the nasty broad beans when I noticed some other ladybirds on there – was especially happy to see 3 2-spot ladybirds on there, and another on a different plant, as I’ve seen none at all on the allotment – and have only ever seen one in the flat….still no sign of the filthy foreign fat ginger immigrant scum ladybirds, which is odd, as they’re pretty much the only ones I see at home, and I only live a mile from the allotment….

Also saw some Adonis ladybirds – I’d wondered what the small, skinny 7-spots were, and now I know… had got bored of the aphid infestation on my rocket and pak choi so dug it all up and will resow at some point. For now, I put more French beans on there…

Couple of days later, went back to the allotment. My cleared bed count extends to the flower bed, fruit patch, the bit between the spuds and jungle, the bit where the infested brassicas were, and the bit where the peas would have been , if they’d not been eaten. Caught something out of the corner of my eye as I was doing so, and spotted the ladybird on a weed next to the broad bean plant……bloody Harmonia Axyridis..nothing harmonious about the little bastards grrr….gutted – was so happy about having at least 4 species of native ladybird on the patch (7 and 2 spot, 14 spot yellow and suspected Adonis ladybird) and then one of these greedy little feckers turns up…..and now I hear they’re interbreeding so will be more difficult to distinguish….meh, something about this one isn’t right either – it’s head looks all wrong, and it’s legs are black.
With any luck, it’s some weird variant of an eyed ladybird or something, we shall see – I’ve sent the pic to the survey, they can depress me more lol

Here’s the monster anyway, I’m no entomologist, but if anyone is, feel free to tell me to stop talking bollocks

Bimbled down to the allotment again on Tuesday, to spray a bit of weedkiller on my dock and creeping grassy stuff colony. Had a quick poke around the aphid infestations to see if I could spot some ladybirds. Spotted a couple of normal ones, and loads of larvae, all of which, thankfully are also not of the Harlequin persuasion (as far as I can tell)
Then I spied it. Hiding, in a leaf, like a coward. For such an evil aggressive predator, it’s not doing well. dunno if it was actually the same one as the other day, but they’re not that common in bright red. Tried to get it to move. It’s legs looked pale but the underside looked dark. Odd. And it was quite small for a foreigner…maybe it’s interbred…
Anyhow, it appeared to be injured – having great difficulty flying (after I so cruelly disturbed it to take a closer look) Either that or I woke it up…

Thursday afternoon, on the way home from work, was dive bombed by a ladybird. No, really. Looked at the front of my t-shirt, and it was one of THEM. It looked exactly like the one at the allotment, that is to say too bloody red, too many spots, too round and too dark legged. And also too small. I still swear they’ve been interbreeding. Tomorrow will be at the allotment again, I expect the larvae to be pupae by then…may even have a hatcher or two….

Have emailed the Harlequin Ladybird Survey chap to ask if they have indeed been interbreeding…..

There may be more news tomorrow lol….




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