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Harlequin Ladybird

Harmonia axyridis

Description:

Harmonia axyridis is a "typical" coccinellid beetle in shape and structure, being domed and having a "smooth" transition between its elytra (wing coverings), pronotum, and head. It occurs in three main color forms: red or orange with black spots (known as form succinea); black with four red spots (form spectabilis); and black with two red spots (form conspicua). However, numerous other forms have also been recorded, particularly in the native range. The beetle is typically large for a coccinellid (5.5–8.5 mm long) and even more dome-shaped than native European species. These characteristics distinguish H. axyridis from native species in the UK. A useful informal clue for distinguishing this species from most other Coccinellidae is that the pronotum of the succinea colour forms of Harmonia axyridis has white markings that typically define an "M"-shaped black area, as seen on a beetle resting head-upwards (or "W"-shaped if it is head-down). This is most obvious in the common 19 spot form, less obvious in some of the less common varieties,[6] but works well a rule of thumb. They always have reddish-brown legs and are obviously brown on the underside of the abdomen, even in the melanic colour forms. (Wikipedia)

Notes:

This species is widely considered to be one of the world’s most invasive insects, partly due to their tendency to overwinter indoors and the unpleasant odor and stain left by their bodily fluid when frightened or squashed, as well as their tendency to bite humans. In Europe it is currently increasing to the detriment of indigenous species, its voracious appetite enabling it to outcompete and even eat other ladybirds. The harlequin ladybird is also highly resistant to diseases that affect other ladybird species and carries microsporidian parasite to which it is immune but that can infect and kill other species.[9] Native ladybird species have experienced often dramatic declines in abundance in areas invaded by H. axyridis. (Wikipedia)

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KostasZontanos
Spotted by
KostasZontanos

Δήμος Καστοριάς, Περιφέρεια Δυτικής Μακεδονίας, Greece

Spotted on Aug 15, 2014
Submitted on Oct 14, 2014

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