Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Harlequins, ammonites and tea
Its 11 am. That means time for a tea break! So, let me take a moment to introduce you to our visitors....
They have been with us since mid November and will probably stay til around early March? They don't take up alot of room and do not require feeding. They have visited us annually for 10 years and mainly prefer the two south facing bedrooms.What am I talking about?....................Why Ladybirds of course!
So pretty and so useful in the garden. But take a closer look because all is not as it seems!
When we moved into this house and first met our annual visitors, they looked somewhat different.Mainly smaller with two or five spots, these were our native ladybirds. We rarely see these anymore because, we have been invaded by the Harlequin Ladybird!
Harlequins are considered the most invasive ladybird on earth.Apparently they arrived here in Britain in 2004 and are now gradually spreading across the country.
The bad thing about them is that when food is scarce they will eat our native ladybird, butterfly and moth eggs.And even bite humans! (Have only just found that out...yikes!) There is loads of information at the Harlequin ladybird survey here.
I sent some hibernating ones to Cambridge University to be correctly identified a couple of years ago when I suspected we had them. The survey are keeping track on their progress and habits, so if you suspect you have any near you,then please contact them.
Well, my mug is empty now. So,..... I'll let you take a peep into my sketchbook.
I've been working on ideas which will hopefully evolve into a painting, soonish?