If you think you’ve found a harlequin ladybird then please send a record of your sighting to the Harlequin Ladybird Survey. Details of how to do this, and a form to download, can be found on their website at http://www.harlequin-survey.org/recording.htm
The harlequin is a non-native species which has become a pest in the UK, causing a decline in some of our native ladybird species as it out-competes its smaller rivals for food, and preys on their larvae. Since its arrival in Britain in 2004, it has spread rapidly across the southeast and is gradually moving north and west. Monitoring its spread across the country is essential. The important information you need to send them should include your name and address, what you found (adult, larvae, pupae etc), where you found it (a grid reference and location is best but a postcode will also do), the date when you found it, how many you found (1, 2–5, 6–10, more than 10) and what they were doing – e.g. nothing, walking, laying eggs, mating, eating etc. A photograph would be useful as well (but not essential) and digital photos can be submitted on-line.
Picture by Elizabeth Dack