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FURTHER INSECT ARTICLES:     ORANGE LADYBIRD   |  SEVEN-SPOT LADYBIRD  |  WATER LADYBIRD  |  LADYBIRDS
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THE ORANGE LADYBIRD
IN CUMBRIA

  • This medium sized ladybird ( 6-7 mm) is very distinctive, having orange elytra each with 8 (occasionally 7) white or cream spots.
  • It is essentially a southern species, but since the late 1980's it has been recorded with increasing frequency in Cumbria - although it is still probably very much under-recorded.
  • Unlike most ladybird species, it does not normally feed on aphids, but on powdery mildew. For this reason it is often found near Sycamore trees, which provide both mildew and honeydew. However, the specimen in the photo (above left) turned up in our bedroom! We've also found it on the car in previous years.
  • In winter, clusters with other Orange ladybirds are formed; occasionally mixed clusters are found with other species of ladybird. In mild winters the clusters may be found on the trunks of trees (as in the above example from Howe Ridding NNR), but in colder winters the clusters form on the ground in leaf litter. It is possible that this species can predict the severity of a coming winter and act accordingly.
  • The same over-wintering sites are used in successive years, although ladybirds do not survive two winters. It appears that something draws the off-spring back to the same spot, possibly some chemical deposit.