After seeing my first 10-spot ladybird last month, I found my first Cream-spot Ladybird Calvia quatuordecimguttata, #515). As mentioned in an earlier blog it seems a very good ladybird year, as there are a lot of ladybird larvae and pupae all over the garden. This Cream-spotted Ladybird was in the Hazel trees I planted a few years back and am trying to coppice. There’s no shortage of aphids in there, so plenty of food.
While there’s many less insects around than this time last year, a bit of sunshine helps. Birch Catkin Bugs are plentiful, but this Deraeocoris flavilinea flower bug is one I only found once last year. This flower bug is a relatively newly arrived non-native species that was first recorded in UK in 1996, but it seems finds our gardens to its liking and has spread to much of the country..
I added a couple of new species for the list in the last week or so. The first is a Broad Centurion (Chloromyia formosa, #508) soldier fly that was attracted to the yellow front door. The other a new ladybird, the 10-spot Ladybird (Adalia decempunctata, #512), which comes in regular black spots on red, but also various other colours including this dark brown & cream combination. There seem a lot of ladybird larvae around this year (as well as lots of aphids), so maybe it’s going to be a good ladybird year.
So far this spring I’ve seen several Seven Spotted Ladybirds (Coccinella septempunctata) and Fourteen Spotted Ladybirds (Propylea quattuordecimpunctata) - got to love those Latin names. The Asian Harlequin Ladybirds have not been present, so it’s been nice to see the native species. The small brown bug looks like Epuraea aestiva, joining the pollen beetles on the head of a dandelion.
A nice selection of multi-coloured Harlequin Ladybirds (#124) coming out in the afternoon sun to look for a place to hibernate. Amazing that these Asian Ladybirds only got established in UK in 2004, because they are now all over the place, and in numbers.
Among the ladybirds, a Scentless Plant Bug (Stictopleurus punctatonervosus), species #357 for the list. This grassland species is also a fairly recent arrival, this time from Central Europe. Starting out from the Thames Valley, it’s now spreading out across Southern England.