Several people have asked me about ladybirds in the past week because harlequin ladybirds that found shelter in buildings in the autumn have been brought out of hibernation by the recent warm weather. I found these harlequins in their natural habitat, on a mature tree. They were clustering beneath a loose piece of bark on a sycamore.
The harlequin ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) is also known as the multi-coloured Asian ladybird and the Halloween ladybird. It has a very variable appearance, which can make it difficult to tell apart from our native ladybirds. For more information go to www.harlequin-survey.org and you can log your ladybird sightings at www.ladybird-survey.org.