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Dead ladybird

Harlequin Ladybird

Apparently all the ladybirds in my sample from the St Clement’s bell tower were examples of the harlequin type. These are a species that has recently “invaded” and is displacing and destroying native species. It was only a sample of eight from hundreds of insect corpses but does indicate that they are clearly well established in Oxford.

There may have been many native examples among those I didn’t collect, or perhaps native species have more sense than to fly up high and get trapped in a bell tower. What we need to do next is to give the tower a good sweep, make a note of the date, and then see at what rate new bodies arrive. This will introduce the vital element of time into the measurement and allow us to make a further contributions to UK Ladybird surveying.

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