Tag Archives: garden insect

The Red Lily Beetle is back…

It is the time of year when many beautiful and naughty insects fly into the garden. This one is a particularly glamorous yet evil little beastie. The red lily beetle, flies around like a ladybird, but has a very good playing dead pose balanced on its back with its feet and antennae tucked in.

If you disturb the lily beetle at work; munching foliage, mating, or laying eggs , which are its main pastimes,  it drops to the soil and is surprisingly hard to spot as it lies on its back.

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Harlequin Ladybirds

Anyone good at identifying ladybirds?

I’ve sent this  photo off to the Harlequin survey site, hoping they’ll identify it for us.

We have a dramatic influx of ladybirds on the cardoons. They are very busy, setting up home, reproducing, laying eggs, eating, generally marching about, arguing with the aphids and rarely stay still long enough for the man with the macro lens to get a clear shot let alone measure them!   We think they could be Harlequins but only read up about ladybirds and their lifecycle yesterday. We are watching out for the larvae to hatch now….

They arrived in Britain in 2004 and are marching westwards, no ordinary ladybird, bigger and meaner than our native species.  I usually pay more attention to birds, like the collared doves who are so successful here, and the rose-ringed parrakeets and the little egrets who now inhabit parks and wetlands respectively.  But not usually my garden!  The world is in flux constantly and the insect world is no exception….

So the question is, should I be grateful that in three days time their larvae will hatch and proceed to devour all aphids, butterfly eggs and everything else that stands in their path, or should I remove their eggs from the leaves and use dilute soap to wash away the aphids?

It’s National Insect Week next week apparently, so I’d love to hear what’s crawling and buzzing around where you live!

Here are two more of Brian’s wonderful pics…any experts out there want to have a go at identifying them for us? (Contact details for him here if you want to use one of his images)

Brian's battle picture

The aphids like the cardoons, and the ladybirds like the....