University of Bristol
Wellcome Trust
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Society of Biology
PEEP for Physics & Ethics at GCSE

Invasive Species: The pretty but deadly Harlequin ladybird

Harlequin ladybird

Harlequin ladybird
Photo: Remy Ware

Why should you help?

This attractive ladybird originally came from eastern Asia but has been used extensively in North America as a biological control agent of aphids and scale insects.  Eventually this ladybird arrived in Europe and the first record in the UK was in a pub garden in Essex (2004).

Unfortunately this ladybird is deadly towards many other insects ( it kills other species of ladybird) and does not confine itself to just eating pests such as aphids.  It also has other ‘unsociable habits’ such as blemishing soft fruits, tainting wine and even biting people.  To read more about this, go to the following press release.

For a more detailed account of this pest, visit this BEEP page.

How can you help?

  1. Get involved in the Harlequin ladybird survey at  this website.   Use the on-line recording sheets to help plot the advance and distribution of the harlequin.  You can submit photographs and see the results so far.
  2. Help to plot the distribution and occurrence of our 26 UK ladybirds (this includes the invasive harlequin).  Visit the  ladybird survey website

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