Last Autumn we found a lot of Steelblue Ladybirds, mostly in clusters, tucked into foliage, as we were pruning away the old leaves. We usually get large numbers of the Elevenspotted Ladybird, so this was something new. The Steelblues have come from Australia, & tend to live in warmer climes, feeding on various scale insects, & often found on citrus trees. So perhaps our long warm Autumn encouraged them. So far this year we haven’t seen many.

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The Elevenspotted Ladybirds were deliberately introduced from Europe in 1874. Apparently the success of the introduction was thwarted a little, as a parasitic wasp, that uses the Ladybird as a host, was introduced by accident. Despite this set back, we are gratefulto see large numbers of Ladybirds beetling about on our aphis infested Fennel, Carrots flowers etc & cleaning up the pests. When we ran the nursery, we were always aware of a time lapse between the greenfly arriving, & then a bit later the Ladybirds. We would hold off spraying (with Pyrethrum) so that there would be a food supply, & a natural order in the garden.

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