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Author Topic: The Ladybirds are a Coming  (Read 179 times)

Poppa Tommo

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The Ladybirds are a Coming
« on: October 28, 2014, 10:24:27 PM »

Well it's that time of year again...small creatures are looking for a safe haven in which to hibernate and our dear little friends, the ladybirds, are no exception. Out here in the countryside where we don't use noxious and toxic sprays the ladybird population abounds...hence the reason we don't suffer too much from aphids.

Anyhow, as I was preparing for bed last night I noticed what appeared to be a hole in my bedroom ceiling. On closer examination it was a large cluster of ladybirds that had entered through a closed window and began to cluster in the corner. Then I notices two other clusters o the window frame...below are three pictures (sorry about the image quality) showing them.








I must make soe ladybird boxes and fasten them near to the window on the outside to encourage them to  spend the winter out of the house. Trouble is, these new invaders, the harlequin ladybirds like to spend the winter inside the house where it is warmer. Here's a link to an article in the Telegraph (no i most definitely DON'T read the Telegraph, it just came up with an article on Google.

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Big Gee

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Re: The Ladybirds are a Coming
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2014, 11:35:15 PM »

If they are Harlequin ladybirds, then I would be tempted NOT to offer them winter lodgings Tommo. They prey on our native species. Not good news.

Did you see Autumn Watch on TV tonight? Fascinating info about Ivy Bees. They've made it up to Devon apparently, extremely interesting species.
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Poppa Tommo

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Re: The Ladybirds are a Coming
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2014, 08:04:51 AM »

I know what you mean about harlequin ladybird invasion. Sadly there is nothing we can do about it as they are so vigorous and prolific. Thing is, they also eat more aphids than our dear old indigenous ones too and, whether we support them or not, they are here to stay.

I don't mind any ladybirds sheltering in the house and have  built nests and boxes outside for them (and lacewings, hover flies etc) too.

Sorry, Gee, but it's all about the evolving face of nature and we have to work with it. Organismic self regulation will always win out.
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Big Gee

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Re: The Ladybirds are a Coming
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2014, 12:28:34 PM »

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I know what you mean about harlequin ladybird invasion. Sadly there is nothing we can do about it as they are so vigorous and prolific. Thing is, they also eat more aphids than our dear old indigenous ones too and, whether we support them or not, they are here to stay.

I don't mind any ladybirds sheltering in the house and have  built nests and boxes outside for them (and lacewings, hover flies etc) too.

Sorry, Gee, but it's all about the evolving face of nature and we have to work with it. Organismic self regulation will always win out.


I'm not sure if I can subscribe to that cold & matter of fact view of things Tommo.

The harlequin ladybird spread to the UK after being imported from East Asia to Europe for commercial pest control of crops. So guess who's responsible? Yep - the COMMERCIAL darlings in our society - for MONEY! So it's an artificial 'leg-up' by the commercial growers that has been responsible.

You say:


Quote
"Sorry, Gee, but it's all about the evolving face of nature and we have to work with it. Organismic self regulation will always win out."

If you follow that argument through to it's logical conclusion then we should all have no qualms about sowing F1 hybrids and GMO crop seeds - after all - it's the "evolving face of nature and we have to work with it" and we should not moan about it. It's OK (whether man created the problem or not)! Also, if we support that view, then the miraculous conservation success accomplished by the Galapagos National Park Service in saving the giant Galapagos turtles is also a waste of time. Allthough they were nearly wiped out by the introduction of rats to the islands by European travellers it was still simply the "evolving face of nature and we have to work with it" & we have to sit back and accept it. No I don't think so - we who create the devastating problems of ecological imbalance should also be the ones to try & reverse those blunders by making an effort - however small - to try and put it right on an individual level.

Harlequin ladybirds are cannibals.  DNA of 10-spot ladybirds were found in almost one in 10 (9.6 per cent) of the harlequin ladybird larvae tested, and 2-spot ladybirds were found in 2.8 per cent of the larvae collected across Europe, with higher rates of detection of both ladybirds in the English samples. Marmalade hoverfly DNA was also found in 2.8 per cent of all the larvae tested. So is decreasing the population of native ladybirds & hoverfly good news? I don't think so. That's why I wouldn't encourage it's progress by giving it 'lodgings' to help it overwinter so that it can set off in spring to deplete more numbers of helpful other species.

In fact it's such a problem that people are asked to report sightings of it.


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There's some more information here:

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I don't think I would go out of my way to promote it's winter survival rates. That's my view - but you are free to follow your own conscience in these matters Tommo, and we will still love you to bits - regardless!!!!

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Poppa Tommo

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Re: The Ladybirds are a Coming
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2014, 02:23:56 PM »

F1 yes that's ok because they are crosses naturally. GMO? Not on your nelly; unnatural and dangerous.

There are many invaders to this country and all I'm saying is that, although we would like to pick an choose, life just ain't like that. We have to learn to live with the changing face of biodiversity as it happens naturally.

Well have a chat about this at great length when we are sitting round a dinner table next time.

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scary crow

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Re: The Ladybirds are a Coming
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2014, 08:31:31 PM »

Just get the dyson out     job done  ..   ThU32:-)  ....
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Big Gee

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Re: The Ladybirds are a Coming
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2014, 11:20:06 PM »

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F1 yes that's ok because they are crosses naturally. GMO? Not on your nelly; unnatural and dangerous.

There are many invaders to this country and all I'm saying is that, although we would like to pick an choose, life just ain't like that. We have to learn to live with the changing face of biodiversity as it happens naturally.

Well have a chat about this at great length when we are sitting round a dinner table next time.

Don't encourage them by making their lives more comfortable than it already is Tommo.

I'd also be tempted to get the Dyson out!

I look forward to that chat over dinner - the sooner the better - life can get a bit quiet here over the winter months!
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scary crow

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Re: The Ladybirds are a Coming
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2014, 11:26:53 PM »

Had a read through this think we have enough invasive creatures and even more plants ..

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Big Gee

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Re: The Ladybirds are a Coming
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2014, 11:56:21 PM »

Wow, catfish, scorpions, NZ flatworms, terrapins & even red-necked wallabies! Not to mention the big cats & Tommo's ladybirds!!!

Fascinating. Who would have believed it? I'm quite glad to see that most of them prefer the south east - not too many make it to the west coast THANKFULLY!

So should we welcome these 'immigrants' with open arms? Should we provide them with winter hotel accomodation in Devon?  CW ;-)
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scary crow

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Re: The Ladybirds are a Coming
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2014, 12:15:17 AM »

Definate no i think these invaders destroy our own wildlife and we dont need any of them we need to destroy them when we can and encourage and provide a suitable habitat for our native species ..
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Poppa Tommo

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Re: The Ladybirds are a Coming
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2014, 12:43:55 AM »

So how do you want to define indigenous or native?

The Great Britain mammal fauna is somewhat impoverished compared to that of continental Europe due to the short period of time between the last ice age and the flooding of the land bridge between Great Britain and the rest of Europe. Only those land species which crossed before the creation of the English Channel and those introduced by humans exist in Great Britain.

Great Britain holds a small (Scottish) population of European wildcats, important populations of grey seals, and rare bat species.
Mountain hare in Scotland

Native (usually synonymous with "indigenous") species are considered to be species which are today present in the region in question, and have been continuously present in that region since a certain period of time. When applied to Great Britain, three possible definitions of this time constraint are:

    a species that colonised the islands during the glacial retreat at the end of the last ice age (c.9500 years ago);
    a species that was present when the English Channel was created (c.8000 years ago);
    or, a species that was present in prehistory.

There are no endemic mammal species in Great Britain, although four distinct subspecies of rodents have arisen on small islands.

So, most of the animals, (yep, Scary, even those rabbits that we love to hunt), birds, insects and so on are 'invaders', and my point is that  over the millenia they have come and gone and will continue to do so for ever. Yes humans make mistakes and before we all start a witch hunt and blame commercialism per se for all our ills just look at the contribution of the Victoran era specimen hunters who brought an unbelievable variety of flora and fauna to our shores. Even the Romans brought hitherto unknown species here: the cuddly dormouse, elderberries, beech trees, grape vines and so on.

For now my Dyson stays under the stairs.
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Big Gee

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Re: The Ladybirds are a Coming
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2014, 01:26:21 AM »

I think the dividing line is whether the 'imported' species is detrimental to 'native' (established) species. Grey squirrels being a classic example in the UK. Without intervention (by localising red squirrels to islands like Anglesey) they would become extinct in the UK - is that worth it? I don't think so. Far more care should be taken in assessing the risks before meddling.

I agree with you about the Victorians, I think some of them should have been hung drawn & quartered for their short sighted stupidity in their wanton distribution of anything and everything they found on their travels.

When commercial companies exasperate problems by bringing in things like the halequin ladybird (which incidentally originates in the east and not mainland Europe), then they should be given the same treatment as I would dole out to some Victorians, ESPECIALLY if the basic reason is to protect their commercial crops from pests, regardless of the domino effect of such practices. Cane toads & rabbits in Australia are other examples. Rabbits for their meat, as it was in short supply on that continent, and provided a source of revenue for those supplying them. By the way it was the Normans who brought rabbits to the UK - as a farmed meat source, however, there were predators here that could regulate their population, but where there are no obvious predators then the whole natural, ecological set-up is put out of kilter with devastating consequences.

The cane toad in Australia is regarded as an exemplary case of a "feral species"others being rabbits, foxes, cats, and Giant Mimosa. Australia's relative isolation prior to European colonisation and the industrial revolution—both of which dramatically increased traffic and importation of novel species—allowed development of a complex, interdepending system of ecology, but one which provided no natural predators for many of the species subsequently introduced. The recent, sudden inundation of foreign species has led to severe breakdowns in Australian ecology, after overwhelming proliferation of a number of introduced species for which the continent has no efficient natural predator or parasite, and which displace native species—in some cases these species are physically destructive to habitat as well. Cane toads have been very successful as an invasive species, having become established in more than 15 countries  within the past 150 years. The Australian Government placed cane toads in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 as a "key threatening process".

I don't think the answer is to light the blue touch-paper and then sit back and watch the bang with a shrug of the shoulders, without caring about the longer term consequences.

There are many 'feral species' introduced that have virtually no impact on the environment - I would even go so far as to say big cats in the UK - like pumas and panthers fall into that category, but people have fits of hysteria about them - for no logical reason! However harlequin ladybirds are a classic example of a predatory, cannibalistic species that not only eats & destroys native established species similar to itself, that have a delicately balanced function in our ecology, but also other critical pest controllers like hoverflies.

Not good Tommo - I would definitely get the Dyson out if your house is turning into a harlequin beetle hotel!
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