Thursday, 30 October 2014

Ripon Cathedral - nature on a warm day -and harlequin ladybirds

Midday on 30th October was very warm as the sun tried to burn off the moist cloud and mist. After looking at a display of calligraphy paintings in the Cathedral I walked outside.

This post tells about the many Harlequin ladybirds I found crawling up a tree and flying around outside.

The following day (31 Oct) I visited a groundfloor flat near the Spa Hotel. She said she had had a few in the house, and yes we found some crawling on the window pane. Perhaps they were looking for somewhere to hibernate.

Harlequins were first recorded in 2004 in the UK, having come from the continent, and have been spreading (see maps) ever since. They grow faster than native ladybirds, and may even eat them.

I stopped to look at what I thought was Lepista saeva - Field Blewit

Crawling over one was a Harlequin Ladybird. 

Yes a Harlequin. Harmonia axyridis. It arrived in UK in 2004. Research has previously shown that seven out of eight UK ladybird species studied had declined over five years following the arrival of the harlequin in 2004. I am not sure if I have seen one yet at Settle.


There were tens, maybe a hundred on the tree in different larval stages and adults.

I tried to work out what this lichen is. there was also lots of Physcia tenella and Physcia adscendens.

More Harlequins

More Harlequins close up

In the children's park below it looked autumnal

More of this lichen there

Oh look they have pulled down the library - old site of

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