Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

By london_euan Last edited 183 months ago
Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

With two killer insect stories in one week Mother Nature is really spoiling us as we love a good bug scare, London's ladybird population though is probably less happy about it.

The latest illegal immigrant to come to our shores, taking our jobs and endangering our flora and fauna is the large Multivariate Asian Ladybird - a native of Japan and Siberia.

Experts are unsure how the distinctively marked bug assassin made its way to London, there could well be an extensive network of bug smugglers who for the right price will guarantee safe passage on a small boat under the cover of darkness, or they could have come over on some fruit.

Now that they're here however, they pose a very real threat to the capital’s insect population as they are "edged out, either starved by competition or eaten by the in-comer".

It's the Red Squirrel vs the Grey Squirrel all over again, admittedly this time with slightly less cute participants.

The killer ladybird is usually 6-8mm long, with white patches on the side, coloured orange or red with 19 black spots or sometimes black with 2 to 8 red patches. The general public is asked to send any specimens or photographs to:

Michael Majerus, Dept of Genetics, University of Cambridge, CB2 3EH

Last Updated 23 February 2005