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Unusual ladybirds?


By dorjac


I have noticed some differently coloured ladybirds on my apple trees yesterday when I was going over them to check for tent caterpillars. There were a few tent caterpillars. They get very agitated when you snip out their webby tent. Must know the end is nigh. They got a stranglehold last year on 2 small apple trees last summer when GJ was ill. Back to the ladybirds… they are our friends. It seems to me they are changing their overcoats. I do not remember seeing black lady birds with giant blobs of red before. I expect other GOYERS have seen them too . They are all very friendly with each other. So we can perhaps expect more variation before long. Strangely ,the black ones seem more inclined to seek cover than the more usual ladybirds. I understand there is to be some kind of survey on garden creatures which is not so easy to access at times……havn’t tried so far.

This is the first black ladybird I got a clear view of, that stayed long enough to focus on it.

I think the smaller ladybird with one red spot is the male. The larger one made for the leaf axil as soon as it sensed my presence, leaving the smaller one stranded!!

Another pair disapearing over the edge of a leaf, to escape from the voyeur. How very dare you take piccies of us when we are busy eating aphids!!!!

The plot thickens. Our ladybird with a red blob is closing in on Mr or Mrs 5 black spots……or is it 5 and a bit?

Other less exciting things happening too, on the apple leaves. One mangled tent caterpillar being inspected by a fly.

Under an apple leaf, these very pretty yellow, precisely placed tiny eggs. Crushed alas. I found them under a heuchera leaf some time back after a GoY post told of shredded leaves. They are a work of art.

Change of subject. first time I have ever grown Teasel after planting wild flower seeds and having to ask a question ‘what is it?’. I decided to keep it and find it has its own reservoirs in the leaf axils. Now there’s a seed for a little boy of six to plant and see it grow.

Looks like a pretty miniature dragon fly.

Finally ,to sign off with something pretty. My Bowl of Beauty peony is full of bloom this year.

More blog posts by dorjac

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well the peony looks nice anyway.

14 Jun, 2010


I have had quite a few of the black ladybirds in my garden too...Not keen on them myself as I more used to the red ones....

14 Jun, 2010


Oh no, it looks like the dreaded American invader which kills our native ones and then don't get rid of the aphids like our's do. I wonder whether anyone else thinks so.

14 Jun, 2010


Hope not Mad, bad enough the bees on decline, poor things

14 Jun, 2010


All the ladybirds I have seen until last few days have been red with small black spots. Maybe this survey ,that is said to be underway, will reveal more about what is going on in our gardens; the same as the bird one helps to assess how birds are coping.

14 Jun, 2010


I've never seen any of those. I wonder if they are killing the proper ones away.

15 Jun, 2010


I think they are mating Hywel, and crossing with one another, and causing all sorts of differences in appearance and habits

16 Jun, 2010


Yes I know they are mating lol. But I just wondered if the black ones killed the red ones. I've never seen those black ones before, and I don't know if they are the same species.

17 Jun, 2010


I've seen the strangest lady bird ever, its orange pretty longish it has tiny yellow spots on it, it flew in my bathroom window the other evening, ive tried to photograph it but does'nt seem to good, its a bit blurry. i looked it up (like you do) its called a "halyzia_sedecimguttata" I will put photo on here,,it has 16 spots ,,,

26 Jun, 2010


Black ladybirds have now disapeared. I looked at a website with Bill Oddie taking a walk with a ladybird expert. The black one is the Pine ladybird. The orange one is found in UK too. So it looks like the Pine Ladybird just dropped in for a flying visit, and found a friendly welcome on my apple trees.

27 Jun, 2010


Hello Dorjac, I love your photo's, i've seen several orange ladies but have never seen black ones before; i do hope they only kill aphids. Kiki

19 Sep, 2010


A lot of lady birds in the garden this year. Only a short visit by these shy black ones, then they vanished. The rest of this year the ladybirds looked like we are used to seeing them. Funny thing in the garden early today. Spooky the street cat stalking a squirrel, pounced on his tail. Up the hawthorn they both went together but the squirrel won. A few minutes later they were at it again!! Got up early to go to Ally Pally Antique Fair and get back in time to go with GJ to N Weald airfield PM. Good entertainment all round.

19 Sep, 2010


must have taken a lot of time, patience and manoeuvering to get those pics! thanks for sharing.

2 Jun, 2012


Funnily enough Fran I havn't seen one odd coloured ladybird this year in the garden, although there have been lots all over the place for weeks on end. Just trying to psyche myself into going into the garden and potting up more stuff.

2 Jun, 2012


lol you and me boith! shall we make a deal? "I will if you will"

2 Jun, 2012


Didn't go in the garden after all Fran. Left over weariness from last Thursday and lack of sleep really affects me a lot. Got it all to do again this Thursday.

3 Jun, 2012


it was chucking down here, so I had a good excuse. Your Thursdays sound wild!

4 Jun, 2012


Huge amount of rain last night, but didn't hear it falling, so must have slept well. Butts full again. Fox asleep on the roof of the Gazebo.....couldn't think of what else to do with the left overs from the crispy duck....hope he liked it. Next door away, so must remove remaining bone before they return!!I get accused of feeding foxes, as if I love them to bits, I don't,but they are good at cleaning up.

4 Jun, 2012


lol that fox will be expecting a wine waiter next!!!

6 Jun, 2012


i have just moved into a property which was very close to a coal mine and was once used to house miners The garden was a total jungle and have been clearing it. i am a total amateur gardener but im learning all the time and finding it rather addictive! while clearing a"gone wild" lavender bush which was growing against the back wall ifound a strange coloured ladybird all i can think of to describe it is like a puddle of black engine oil when the sun shines on it creating a rainbow effect, the pics i took werent very good but it was really quite pretty. can anyone explain what it was please.

13 Sep, 2013


Sounds like a lavender beetle Sweetxxx. They are very pretty. They do look very shiny blue and purple, but lavender growers don't like them at all. I saw one recently on my old lavender bush but no worries as it is so pretty....let it continue to glitter and look pretty.

14 Sep, 2013


so long as they don't take over a space and force the native speices out! often happens iwth mew species introdouced by accident or design -- grey squirrels are a classic expample!

I tried Googling for "lavender beetle" so see where they originated, but all I found were links for "rosemary bettle" - which has a totally different colour scheme.
has nothing at all on "lavender beetle" when I searched its own site
(could'nt resist the address of this one! - this is listed as "lavender beetle" but looks nothing like the one in the pics)

So I tried searching for "black ladybirds" and found a BBC site wtith various kinds of ladybird colour schemes. might he helpful

15 Sep, 2013

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