A new ladybird has arrived in Europe, the harlequin ladybird, Harmonia axyridis. The harlequin ladybird was introduced to North America in 1988, where it is now the most widespread ladybird species on the continent. We have been tracking the spread of this species across Europe and working with collaborators around the world to understand the impact of the harlequin ladybird on other species.
The harlequin ladybird is considered to be a top predator, able to thrive in many habitats and climatic conditions. It has become the most common species of ladybird in many urban habitats across Europe. It poses a threat to biodiversity, particularly other aphid-feeding insects, through competition and predation.
The involvement of volunteers in monitoring this species in a number of countries around the world is inspiring and has provided data on scales that would be otherwise unachievable. Monitoring ladybirds has never been more important. We want YOU to get involved!