Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Seven-Spot ladybird

First ladybird of the year, albeit a hibernating one found amongst leaf litter in the small bed outside the back door. It's a seven-spot or Cocinella septempunctata. In fact, I think this is the first Coleopteran or beetle to make it onto the blog. There are more species in the order Coleoptera than any other order: about 400,000 so far, with more being discovered regularly. If you want to discover a new species, this is the order to focus on.
I remember the summer of 1976 when there was a 'plague' of ladybirds following an aphid bloom. Once the ladybirds ran out of aphids they started preying on humans. I distinctly remember being bitten by them as they invaded houses and buildings.
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