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Talkback: Rare ladybirds

I do love ladybirds. There used to be millions of them in Oxford when I was a kid.

Seems I never see them at all these days, mind you, I live in North now.
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  • ON my allotment i use bark for the paths and mulch with grass cutings in places and leaf mould. Last year we had loads and loads of lady bird larvae and the lady birds and this year as iv e started preparing for the growing season i have found lots of hibernating ladybirds ,how do i make sure that they are the native ones and not the ones that are invading us.And if they are the invading ones what shall i do ?
  • Some years ago l found some, as l thought then strange insects. They were small purple with orange dots it was not till a few years later l found out they were ladybird lavea. I've never seen them again but l'm putting up a ladybird tower so l'm hoping to see some in the future.
  • Wow! I would have been pleased if I was you Richard, there is I often think an irony in wildlife behaviour, what should happen doesn't and the things that we do see are sometimes more unusual. Although I woulld be the first to admit that I would not have recognised your rarity as such!
  • Have just found a few ladybirds crawling from crevice in wall in bedroom. What do i do with these that i asume are just waking from hibernating - its snowing and still frosty outside!
  • Reply to Flower Girl
    It's no use persecuting the newcomer harlequin ladybird, Harmonia axyridis. It is firmly established here. Only do something if it starts causing a nuisance by coming indoors.

    Reply to Jayven
    If hibernating ladybirds are roused prematurely indoors, often by central heating, catch them and release them into the shed, greenhouse or woodpile. They should quickly settle down again and appear at the right time in spring.
  • Would you have any information on the preferred type of microscope for identifying (and photographing) small creatures from the garden?
  • Philip
    Start with a cheap hand lens. This is the one I recommended for BBC Wildlife:

    http://www.theloupestore.co.uk/Hand-Lenses/Magnifiers-Triplet/Loupe.html

    A relatively simple stereo microscope is best for looking at insects. x10 and x 30 are perfect.

    A simple scope is at:

    http://www.brunelmicroscopes.co.uk/stereo-tour.html

    have a look at the budget and non-zoom ranges. You'll need an adapter to put your camera on the eye-piece.

    These are only good for looking at dead specimens. For live photographs you should choose a macro lens, and maybe extra flash guns....the range now is enormous.

    Good luck
  • to help ladybirds ect. escape from your green bin, put a stick of wood under the lid to keep the lid from closing completley and they will crawl out
  • I have been working in my Garden here in Milton Keynes and have seen many different naitive Ladybirds but not Harlequins, has the good old british winter halted their march accross the UK?
  • I found a black ladybird today 8th April 2011. Will it harm the native ones.
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