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The Ladybird thread (1 Viewer)

TheSeagull

Well-known member
Yes indeed, all seven-spots. But it's better than nothing! Especially in Aberdeen .... most ladybirds become pretty scarce once you leave England!

They seem to have decreased, back about 8 years ago they were common, but this one is the first I've seen in about 4 years at least. At least the harlequins aren't here yet as far as I know, I might buy some ladybirds from gardening naturally next year to boost the local population.
 
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Peewit

Once a bird lover ... always a bird lover
Ladybirds at RSPB Headquarters at Sandy today.

Hello there

My partner, and myself had a good long walk at Sandy, RSPB Headquarters today and we came across Ladybirds on 2 occasions.

The thing I want to know why is it that Ladybirds are huddled together as they are on a piece of dead wood. Why do they do this? ;)

The only time I have seen this occur is with Harlequins.
 

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Peewit

Once a bird lover ... always a bird lover
Another picture of a single Ladybird sitting on a RSPB sign post.

Regards
Kathy
x
 

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paul mabbott

Urban space man
These are all 7-spots (Coccinella septempunctata) and, before the arrival of the 'harlequin', they were the species most commonly seen in overwintering aggregations although 2-spots and 11-spots are also commonly seen.
This is basically a way of keeping warm(ish). Most ladybirds can tolerate low winter temperatures including some degrees of frost but every degree is important! Aggregation means that any heat leaving the body of an individual is going to contribute to the overall warmth of the mass. The choice of where they rest (if a shed or a hole in a tree isn't available) probably relates to shade and windbreaking - It's common to see huddles under a single leaf or just in the shade of a thin twig.

Hello there

My partner, and myself had a good long walk at Sandy, RSPB Headquarters today and we came across Ladybirds on 2 occasions.

The thing I want to know why is it that Ladybirds are huddled together as they are on a piece of dead wood. Why do they do this? ;)

The only time I have seen this occur is with Harlequins.
 
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Peewit

Once a bird lover ... always a bird lover
These are all 7-spots (Coccinella septempunctata) and, before the arrival of the 'harlequin', they were the species most commonly seen in overwintering aggregations although 2-spots and 11-spots are also commonly seen.
This is basically a way of keeping warm(ish). Most ladybirds can tolerate low winter temperatures including some degrees of frost but every degree is important! Aggregation means that any heat leaving the body of an individual is going to contribute to the overall warmth of the mass. The choice of where they rest (if a shed or a hole in a tree isn't available) probably relates to shade and windbreaking - It's common to see huddles under a single leaf or just in the shade of a thin twig.

Hi Paul

Thank you for your answer. :t:

So they are 7 spots. I never knew that they relied on mutual body warmth. I always thought of them as a species that was independant to one another. What degree of body warmth is there?. What 'colder' temperature can they not survive with?

Ask another question which is very implusive - Do Ladybirds hibernate at all? Some Butterflies do so why not Ladybirds?

Regards
Kathy
x
 
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paul mabbott

Urban space man
Heat is not the only reason for aggregation - it has been suggested that one great advantage is that, when becoming active in the spring, they don't have much difficulty in finding a mate. It's perhaps of note that the most abundant species are those which do aggregate overwinter.

Many insect hibernate in the sense that their metabolism slows down (to the point of complete inactivity in some cases) as the temperature decreases (the same happends in hot weather of course - aestivation) although the process is otherwise different from overwintering of mammals. Dormancy can be broken, return, be broken &c ... depending on the warmth and light in the environment.

The cold-resistance of ladybirds and other insects varies greatly between species - I don't recall any figures at the moment - but some can survive several degrees C below freezing.

Hi Paul

Thank you for your answer. :t:

So they are 7 spots. I never knew that they relied on mutual body warmth. I always thought of them as a species that was independant to one another. What degree of body warmth is there?. What 'colder' temperature can they not survive with?

Ask another question which is very implusive - Do Ladybirds hibernate at all? Some Butterflies do so why not Ladybirds?

Regards
Kathy
x
 

Mis

Well-known member
I've been catching up on this thread and the mention of cold resistance in ladybirds has reminded that I'd forgotten to post my first sighting of 2010.

Last Saturday, 30 January, a lone pine ladybird was on the smooth bark of an ash tree here. We'd had a sprinkling of snow overnight which had mostly disappeared by late morning and although the sun was shining it still felt cold.

I looked at several nearby ash trees but couldn't find any more brave (or foolish) ladybirds. I usually see pine ladybirds on those trees from around mid January in milder winters.
 

aeshna5

Well-known member
I saw a 7-spot Ladybird about 3 weeks ago on a Miscanthus stem in a garden + this week found a Harlequin on a Cordyline. Both in the London area.
 

tootsietim

Tim Rollins
Why can't I find any Two spot ladybirds??
So far this year I've seen Pine, Cream spot, 7 spot, harlequin and 22 spot ladybirds,all in my Norfolk garden, but i can't find a spot anywhere, are thier nubers decreasing or is it too early??
 

paul mabbott

Urban space man
Why can't I find any Two spot ladybirds??
So far this year I've seen Pine, Cream spot, 7 spot, harlequin and 22 spot ladybirds,all in my Norfolk garden, but i can't find a spot anywhere, are thier nubers decreasing or is it too early??

Indeed there do seem to be few about this year - they would normally become active not much later than 7-spots and certainly before 22-spots. It's quite possible that their population numbers have decline considerably from competition with both the harlequin (Harmonia axyridis) and the 7-spot (Coccinella septempunctata) both of which were very abundant last summer.
 

Colin

Axeman (Retired)
England
Id - UK

This must be one of the many variations of Harlequin. The pic was taken at Over Ponds, Gloucestershire today. Can someone confirm my id. Thanks
 

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Julie10_10

Well-known member
Hi Colin,

Yes, I think your Ladybird could be Harlequin.

You can download an identification sheet from UK Ladybird Survey and also report your sightings.

http://www.ladybird-survey.org

Click UK Ladybirds for the id download.

Last weekend I saw three 2-spot Ladybirds including the black with red spots. An Orange Ladybird has visited my garden a couple of times and prior to this I had never seen one before. It seems to be attracted to my moth trap light and in fact last Saturday evening it spent 30 minutes sitting on my shoulder watching the moths:t:
 

Surreybirder

Ken Noble
I found this in our garden yesterday. It was about 4 mm long. Please could someone confirm it as a 14-spot ladybird?
Ken
 

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The Hairy Highlander

Well-known member
This is the first time I've looked in this thread, I'll need to have a good troll through it!

Anyway, the other morning while checking my moth trap I noticed a tiny Ladybird, did some research and Id'd it as an Orange Ladybird - a first for me...:t:
 

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