An Anglia Ruskin University scientist has launched Britain’s first atlas of the UK’s and Ireland’s ladybirds. The atlas is the result of over 6 years of research by the UK Ladybird Survey and was officially launched Wednesday June 15 at BBC Gardeners World Live in Birmingham.
Forty-seven species are mapped out in the production of ladybirds in Britain and Ireland by building the observations by thousands of volunteers. The earliest record was in 1819 when a 13 spot ladybird was recorded near Oxford.
The species most commonly recorded with over 27,000 was the 7 spot ladybird and then followed closely by the harlequin ladybird that had over 25,000 records. Ladybirds of Britain and Ireland was written by Dr. Peter Brown of the Anglia Ruskin University, Dr. Remy Poland of Clifton College, Dr. Helen Roy of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and Robert Frost wildlife enthusiast and recorder of ladybirds.
Dr. Brown said that Ladybirds have been able to capture the imagination of the world for centuries. In 2005 when the UK Ladybird Survey was launched on line no one would have imaged how many tens of thousands of people would be contributors.
The species that are in decline include the 10 spot and 14 spot ladybirds that are principally greenfly feeding and loved by gardeners. The species that are doing well and expanding the range of geographical area they cover is the pine ladybird and the orange ladybird a mildew feeder.
The Orange Ladybird had previously been listed as a rare species but has thrived recently and that is due to adapting to living on different trees. Apart from the common 7spot ladybird that most everyone has seen at one time or another in the garden, you can find several other species if you only look hard enough.